firefly

(Pyractomena spp.)

               
Overview

Pyractomena is a species of firefly. There are at least 25 species of Pyractomena in North and Central America, 18 species in North America north of Mexico, and 5 species in Minnesota.

The larvae, called a glowworm, is amphibious. It preys mostly on snails, both in the water and on vegetation out of the water. Unlike other firefly species, who pupate underground, the Pyractomena larva undergoes aerial pupation. When it is ready to pupate, it leaves the water and crawls up the trunk of a large tree. There it nestles into a crevice in the bark in a sunny spot, glues the tip of its abdomen to the bark, and hangs head downward. Over the next two to three weeks it transforms into an adult firefly.

Adults are active at night.

firefly (Pyractomena sp.)

  Photo by Alfredo Colon
   
   
Identification

The exoskeletal plate covering the thorax (pronotum) has a distinct ridge down the middle and a black stripe down the middle. The light organs are well developed on both sexes. On the male, they occupy the entire fifth and sixth abdominal segments. On the female they occupy just the sides of the segments, with the middle of the segments being dark. The flash is often amber-colored, and is compared to an ember from a campfire.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Coleoptera (beetles)

 

Suborder:

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

 

Infraorder:

Elateriformia

 

Superfamily:

Elateroidea (click beetles, fireflies and soldier beetles)

 

Family:

Lampyridae (fireflies)

 

Subfamily:

Lampyrinae

 

Tribe:

Cratomorphini

 

Genus:

Pyractomena

 
Subordinate Taxa

firefly (Pyractomena borealis)

firefly (Pyractomena linearis)

firefly (Pyractomena linearis)

firefly (Pyractomena linearis)

Say’s firefly (Pyractomena angulata)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

This genus has no common name. The common name of the family Lampyridae is fireflies and is used here for convenience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  firefly (Pyractomena sp.)    
       
       
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Other Videos
 
  Pyractomena Firefly (Lampyridae: Pyractomena) a Male
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Jun 16, 2011

Males have light organs on entire abdominal segments 5 and 6; females have their light organs on the sides of these two segments. Photographed at Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (16 June 2011). Thank you to 'v belov' for confirming the genus of this specimen!

   
       
  Firefly larva in the daylight (Pyractomena)
Nature in Motion
 
   
 
About

Feb 9, 2017

Not the most graceful creature! Clear views of its retractable head and shimmering 'armor'.

Beetles (Coleoptera) » Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles (Polyphaga) » Series Elateriformia » Click, Firefly and Soldier Beetles (Elateroidea) » Fireflies (Lampyridae) » Lampyrinae » Cratomorphini » Pyractomena » larvae (Pyractomena larvae)

Music: Danse of Questionable Tuning by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Source: https://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100506 Artist: http://incompetech.com/

   
       
  Firefly (Lampyridae: Pyractomena) with Damaged Elytron
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

May 26, 2010

Photographed near Fisher, Minnesota (26 May 2010).

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
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Alfredo Colon
August 2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

firefly (Pyractomena sp.)


     
     
 
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Created: 10/30/2020

Last Updated:

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