Pennsylvania firefly

(Photuris pensylvanica)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Pennsylvania firefly

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

 

Flight/Season

June and July

Habitat

Meadows and open woods

Size

Total Length: 5 16 to (8 to 10 mm)

         
         
         
         
          Photo by Alfredo Colon

Identification

Fireflies previously identified as Pennsylvania firefly (Photuris pensylvanica) belong to a number of closely related species that are impossible to identify to the species level by photo alone. See Comments below.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

 

 
Adult Food

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

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 24, 29.


Comments

Species Complex?
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.


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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Alfredo Colon


  Pennsylvania firefly   Pennsylvania firefly

       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
  Pennsylvania firefly   Pennsylvania firefly
       
       

 

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Alfredo Colon
7/6/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

Pennsylvania firefly


     
     
 

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