The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed an initial review on a petition to list the Bethany Beach firefly under the Endangered Species Act. The Service has concluded there is substantial information available to begin in-depth reviews to determine whether the petitioned actions are warranted.

The Bethany Beach firefly is a bioluminescent beetle known to occur only in Delaware. It emerges during summer in unique freshwater wetlands that develop behind dunes along the Atlantic Ocean beaches. This firefly is Delaware’s sole recognized endemic species. It can be distinguished by the double green flash given off by adult males in search of mates.

The Service finds the petition to list the Bethany Beach firefly presented substantial information on potential threats associated with light pollution, invasive species, pesticide use and the effects of climate change.

The ESA allows citizens to petition the Service to add species to the federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants, remove species from the list, and to reclassify species already on the list.

For the federal register docket number and information on the petition findings, visit bit.ly/2Skr1Rv.