Photinus courtesy of Don Salvatore

Habitat & Geography

Map of Habitat of Photinus ignitus in northeastern United States courtesy of Don SalvatorePhotinus ignitus, and fireflies in general, are found on every continent except for Antarctica (Cratsely, 2004).  Photinus ignitus is most commonly found in the northeastern part of the United States (Eisner et. al., 1978).  The habitat that is best for Photinus ignitus is a warm, humid environment.  With that being said, Photinus ignitus is most active in the summertime, typically in mid June until late July (Museum of Science, 2013).  Photinus ignitus are also found in forests and fields near marshes, rivers, ponds, and streams. A wet or moist environment is critical for their survival (Firefly, 2013).  With fireflies living in this type of habitat, there is a wide variety of organisms that can be found in that same environment.  A few organisms that coincide with Photinus ignitus are deer ticks, squirrels, mosquitos, beavers, coyotes, and white-tail deer.  Photinus ignitus are not found too often in the western United States, like in areas of California.  A reason behind this is that California is too much of a dry area.  Another reason is that other firefly species that already live there out-compete Photinus ignitus for resources (Lloyd, 2005). 

There has been a decrease in the number of Photinus ignitus seen in the eastern United States.  The explanation behind this is that there has been an increase in air, soil, water, and light pollution, which affects their habitat and the larvae prey.  To find out more about the larvae prey go to our Life History & Reproduction page.  The increase of land development by humans also affects the Photinus ignitus in a negative way.   There is a decreasePicture of a marsh, a preferred habitat for Photinus ignitus, courtesy of Brian Herzog in habitat space for them to mate and lay their eggs.  There has been a decrease of water in the environments with ponds and streams drying up.  This has caused the Photinus ignitus population to decrease.  Photinus ignitus and many other species of fireflies have their habitats being disrupted by water runoff carrying higher levels of vehicle hydrocarbons, fertilizers, poisons, and salt (Lloyd, 2005).  This is critical because the Photinus ignitus population has gone done in size each year.

Back to Home
Read about Form and Function