Local Professor Discovers New Firefly Species

A Delaware State University associate professor has discovered a new species of firefly.

The News Journal reports that Christopher Heckscher says he first encountered the firefly he didn't recognize at Prime Hook in 2004.

The next year, while looking for fireflies as part of a statewide survey at the Nanticoke Wildlife Area near Seaford, Heckscher realized he might be looking at something new because their flash pattern did not match any known small fireflies he knew of.

It turned out Heckscher had found a new species: Photuris mysticalampas.

"It's a really good example of how much we hav eto learn," Heckscher said.

His discovery is chronicled in the July-August edition of Entomological News.

Heckscher says there's lots more to learn about the new species, including whether it also may be found nearby in Maryland, where the habitat is similar.

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