The Firefly Workshop 

Registration is now full!

June 14 -15, 2019, Friday and Saturday Night Excursions

Firefly ID by Sight and Light, Natural History, Ecology

Two evening & night field trips. Daytime hours are free to rest and explore.
Held at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary with a field trip to Adams County

John Howard, Southern Ohio expert field naturalist
Nancy Stranahan, Director, Arc of Appalachia
Brent Charette, Forest School Host


$185/person includes dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings, all course curriculum, and the splendid $30 firefly field guide by Lynn Faust

Optional lodging at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary – $40/night per person shared; $65/night private. Meals other than dinners are provided by registrants.


A world of wonder! In June the greatest show on earth is performing in Ohio’s unmowed fields and forest edges. The season is filled with the midsummer flush of a dizzying diversity of fireflies that pursue their brief but dramatic lives beyond most people’s notice. That’s about to change for anyone attending this weekend course.

An illuminating Weekend. Two consecutive nights of field trips – with days free to rest and explore the Sanctuary on your own – will teach you the primary species and species complexes that are in courtship during this peak week of firefly activity. In addition to learning to recognize the distinct flash patterns of each species, you will also learn about firefly conservation, ecology, and natural history. 

Our destinations. On Friday night we will immerse ourselves in the firefly spectacle at Ridgeview Farm, where we will see thousands of fireflies representing six species – lighting up the meadows as far as we can see. Saturday night will be spent in the backwoods of Adams County to the south of the Sanctuary where our eyes will feast on a different firefly display that includes Chinese Lanterns, fireflies that glow for a strikingly long duration.

What You Will Learn & Experience:

  • Recognize several species of June-flashing fireflies by sight, flash pattern, season, and time of day
  • Recognize the most common firefly species that emerge right at dusk 
  • Observe one of smallest of our native firefly species that, emasse, twinkle like holiday lights
  • Familiarize yourself with the yet undeciphered Photuris complex that light u[ the trees at night
  • Learn two species of day-time flying fireflies that do not light up as a adults.
  • What makes a firefly a firefly – and what are the look alikes
  • Predators of fireflies, including the long-legged Photuris that prey on smaller firefly species
  • Life cycles and life history
  • Experience the mesmerizing Chinese Lantern firefly, with drifting glows lasting two seconds
  • How to protect and enhance fireflies in your own backyard and farm
  • Receive handouts on identifying fireflies that are active during other months of the year