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Species Photinus pyralis

Photinus pyralis - male Photinus pyralis - male photinus pyralis, female - Photinus pyralis - female Photinus pyralis - male Beetle - Lightening-Bug - Dorsal - Photinus pyralis - male Firefly - Photinus pyralis - female Lightning Beetle - Photinus pyralis - female Unknown Photinini? - Photinus pyralis
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
Superfamily Elateroidea (Click, Firefly and Soldier Beetles)
Family Lampyridae (Fireflies)
Subfamily Lampyrinae
Tribe Photinini
Genus Photinus
Species pyralis (Photinus pyralis)
Other Common Names
Pyralis Firefly, Eastern Firefly, Common Eastern Firefly, Big Dipper Firefly
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Photinus pyralis (Linnaeus)
Orig. Comb: Lampyris pyralis Linnaeus 1767
Explanation of Names
pyralis - Greek, meaning "of fire".
reference to Greek myth of a fly that rises from fire (1).
Numbers
nearly 50 spp. n. of Mex. (2)
Size
10-14 mm
Identification
Large for a Photinus. Blackish-brown finely, densely rugose (wrinkled) elytra, side margins and suture of elytra yellow. Pronotal disk pinkish with a black spot. Pronotum convex. Underside: Ventral abdominal segments six and seven large and occupied by light organ in male. Abdominal sternites of male have distinct (3). Female flightless (1), or "seldom" flies, as it does have normal wings (4).
Flash is distinctive: male hovers about two feet (0.6 m) above ground, then drops vertically, gives single prolonged flash as is ascending, then flash diminishes (3). Flashing occurs at dusk, earlier in evening than most other fireflies.
Range
TX-FL-NY-IA (5), (6), (BG data)
Habitat
Meadows and edges of woodlands, including lawns, suburbs.
Season
mostly: June-July (full: May-Aug) (BG data))
Food
Adult does not feed, larvae predaceous on insect larvae, slugs, snails (1).
Life Cycle
Eggs are laid on moist soil. Larvae take two summers to complete growth, overwintering twice, pupate in (spring?) in chambers in moist soil (1).
Print References
Dillon, p. 254, plate 25A #2, fig. 194--abdomen of male (3)
Brimley p. 154 (7)
Marshall, photo 316.1 (8)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.
2.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
3.A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America
Dillon, Elizabeth S., and Dillon, Lawrence. 1961. Row, Peterson, and Company.
4.The Common Insects of North America
Lester A. Swan, Charles S. Papp. 1972. Harper & Row.
5.An Illustrated Inventory of the beetles (Coleoptera) of Lick Creek Park, College Station, Texas
Edward G. Riley. 2011. Texas A&M University, Dept. Entomology, College Station.
6. A distributional checklist of the beetles (Coleoptera) of Florida.
Peck & Thomas. 1998. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville. 180 pp.
7.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
8.Insects: Their Natural History And Diversity: With a Photographic Guide to Insects of Eastern North America
Stephen A. Marshall. 2006. Firefly Books Ltd.