Pennsylvania firefly

(Photuris pensylvanica)

Conservation Status
Pennsylvania firefly
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

A detailed study of the genus Photuris by H. S. Barber was published posthumously in 1951. It showed that specimens previously lumped under the name Photuris pensylvanica actually represented a group several closely related species. Individuals can not be accurately identified to the species level without a detailed study of their flashing patterns. The flashing patterns of an individual firefly may vary with time of night, day within the window of the mating season, and location. Females of some species imitate the flashing patterns of females of other species in order to attract and prey upon males of that species.

BugGuide.net has recently removed Photuris pensylvanica from its pages. It currently does not identify any photos within this group beyond the genus level. While species within the group cannot be reliably identified by photo, the group itself is identifiable using the key published by Barber. However, BugGuide.net states that “... keys to spp. in Barber 1951 and McDermott 1967 should not be relied upon.”

iNaturalist has followed suit and removed all observations labeled Photuris pensylvanica. Still, most authoritative sources continue to list Photuris pensylvanica. It may someday be recognized taxonomically as a group or species complex. To date, it has not been. Until then, there is no universally accepted morphological description of the group.

For the reasons mentioned above, no identification information can be given on MinnesotaSeasons.com.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 5 16 to (8 to 10 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Meadows and open woods

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

June and July

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Soft-bodied insects, slugs, snails, mites, beetles, and other fireflies.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 29, 30.

 
  10/26/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)  
 

Infraorder

Elateriformia  
 

Superfamily

Elateroidea (click, firefly and soldier beetles)  
 

Family

Lampyridae (fireflies)  
 

Subfamily

Photurinae  
 

Tribe

Photurini  
  Genus Photuris  
 

Subgenus

Photuris  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Photuris pennsylvanicus

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Pennsylvania firefly

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    Pennsylvania firefly   Pennsylvania firefly  
           
    Pennsylvania firefly      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    Pennsylvania firefly   Pennsylvania firefly  
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
     
     
     
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Alfredo Colon
8/6/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

Pennsylvania firefly  
  Alfredo Colon
7/6/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

Pennsylvania firefly  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


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