• Miles of uncrowded white sandy beaches extend to the horizon, separating the clear blue ocean and undulating grass-covered dunes.

    Fire Island

    National Seashore New York

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  • New Backcountry Camping procedures

    Reservations for required permits must be obtained through Recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Davis Park or access points west, and involve a 2½ to 10 mile hike. More »

Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes

Monarchs rest on goldenrod.
From mid-September to early October, watch for the annual migration of monarch butterflies along the duneline on Fire Island.

Hundreds of species of insects and spiders occur on Fire Island, from dragonflies to monarch butterflies to mosquitoes. Ticks are locally abundant from May to September.

Many of these insects are valuable pollinators that sustain natural ecosystems, helping to preserve the quality of human and all other species of life.

It's a special treat to view the annual fall migration of monarch butterflies and dragonflies along Fire Island. Located along the Atlantic flyway, Fire Island National Seashore provides excellent habitat for many migratory species.

Odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) are considered by scientist to be excellent indicators of wetland ecosystem health and condition. An inventory of Odonata is one of the recent NPS Inventory and Monitoring projects conducted at Fire Island National Seashore.

Fire Island's beach and intertidal invertebrate communities, an important component of the ecosystem which serves as forage for shore birds, includes several species of insects. A recent survey found that:

Of the five dominant taxa collected along the bayside were three types of insects: Ephydridae (shore flies), Lasius neoniger (turfgrass ant), Muscidae (muscid flies).

Of the five dominant taxa collected along the oceanside two were the insects Ephydridae and Clivinia sp. (ground beetle).

Results of the study found the most abundant species in all collections (benthic core, wrack sight and pitfall trap) to be the tenebrionid beetle (Phaleria teastacea), the talitrid amphipod (Talorchestia longicornis), the ant (Lasius nenoiger), the anthicid beetle (Mecynotarsus candidus), homopterans and the planthopper (Delphacodes sp). The most common taxonomic groups were: Coleoptera, Diptera, Amphipoda, Hymenoptera.


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USACE's Beach and Intertidal Invertebrate Study, January 2005, included a spring and fall survey in 2003 of the beach and intertidal invertebrate assemblages located along both the oceanside and bayside of the FIMP study area, inlcuding stations on Fire Island that had been sampled in 1995-96.

As a part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) comprehensive study to identify, evaluate, and recommend longterm measures for hurricane storm damage reduction for the south shore of Long Island, New York from Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point (FIMP), a number of environmental studies have been completed.

Painted Lady butterfly on Goldenaster flowers

Did You Know?

Close-up view of roots and sand grains beneath golden stems.

Tiny rootlets of the American beach grass (Ammophila breviligulata) and mycorrhyzal fungi hold together the grains of sand that make up sand dunes on Fire Island. You can help protect the dunes by not walking or driving over the beach grass. More...