Insect Love: Fireflies

Fireflies (family Lampyridae) lighting up each others' lives.

Despite common usage, it’s not accurate to call these lightning bugs or fireflies since they are neither true bugs (order Hemiptera) nor flies (order Diptera).  I think they should be called “lightning beetles” or “fire beetles” since they’re members of the beetle order Coleoptera (family Lampyridae).

Adult females of some firefly species are larviform (look like larvae) and are commonly referred to as glowworms.  In some other species like the one above they appear similar to males.

Species capable of producing bioluminescence exhibit unique flashing patterns to attract mates.  Some species are known to mimic the patterns of other species for the purpose of luring them as prey.  The individuals above appear to be of a non-light-producing diurnal species, probably in the genus Ellychnia.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Entomology, Insect Love and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Insect Love: Fireflies

  1. Pingback: Plant-Insect Interaction: Soldier beetles on a roughleaf dogwood | The Life of Your Time

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