Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

pyralis Group

Photinus pyralis, common eastern USA firefly - Photinus pyralis - male Photinus pyralis, common eastern USA firefly - Photinus pyralis - male - female Large Firefly - Photinus Firefly - Photinus pyralis - male which Photinus? - Photinus Large Firefly - Photinus pyralis - male Photinus sp. - Photinus pyralis Photinus pyralis (Linnaeus) - Photinus pyralis - female
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)
No Taxon (Series Elateriformia)
Superfamily Elateroidea (Click, Firefly and Soldier Beetles)
Family Lampyridae (Fireflies)
Subfamily Lampyrinae
Tribe Lucidotini
Genus Photinus
No Taxon pyralis Group
Explanation of Names
pyralis Group designated by Green (1956) (1)
3 spp. (1)(2)
male ventral segment 5 with pale apical border, but not diagnostic as this character is shared by other spp. outside of this group(1)
collectively: e. US to w. TX (2)
usually found in woodland borders but in some places pyralis seems to be ecologically ubiquitous (at least in 1966). (2)
pyralis Group
flash signals are either of the simple "flash-answer" type or of the "flash-delay-answer" type (2)

pyralis - e US (TX-FL-NY-NE), absent along s. Atlantic coast, found in var. habitats, male flash-pattern is a single long flash emitted during flight that resembles the letter J.
australis - se US (MO-FL-NC), nearly always confined to shaded areas and dense bushes, quick short flash every ~4 secs.
scintillans - ne US (NY-PA-MD area), brachypterous females, males give quick flash every 2.5 secs on avg.
Works Cited
1.Revision of the Nearctic species of Photinus (Lampyridae: Coleoptera).
Green, J.W. 1956. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 28: 561–613.
2.Studies on the flash communication system in Photinus fireflies.
Lloyd, J.E. 1966. Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 130: 1-95.