winter firefly

(Ellychnia corrusca)

Conservation Status
winter firefly
Photo by Bill Reynolds
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Winter firefly is a medium-sized, to 9 16 long, diurnal firefly.

The thoracic shield (pronotum) is semi-elliptical. It does not have translucent windows. It is pale with a broad black stripe in the middle and a narrow black stripe on the left and right margins. The pale area between the stripes is usually mostly pale rose colored. From above the pronotum appears black with pale rose “parentheses” markings.

The forewings (elytra) are black without pale borders or stripes. They have minute, brownish-gray hairs that give them a dusty appearance.

The head is concealed beneath the pronotum. The antennae are thread-like and black. They are not flattened. The third antennal segment is shorter than the first.

The legs are black. The end segment of each leg (tarsus) has 5 sections.

There are no bioluminescent organs.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to 9 16

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Other Ellychnia species are smaller, 316 to 5 16long, and do not have pale hairs on the elytra.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist, marshy areas

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

May to late September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults are active during the day. They do not possess bioluminescent organs and therefore do not light up.

Overwintering adults may become active on warm, sunny, winter days, moving a short distance from their wintering spot.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Adults overwinter in a crevice of tree bark. They emerge and become active in March. Breeding occurs in April and May. Eggs hatch in about 16 days. Adults of the previous season die in late spring. The larvae feed on rotting wood and pupate in the fall. Adults of the new season emerge before snowfall.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Rotting wood

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Maple tree sap and flower nectar in the spring, and possibly goldenrod and aster flower nectar in the autumn.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24.

 
  9/24/2014      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, long-horned, leaf, and snout beetles)  
 

Infraorder

Elateriformia  
 

Superfamily

Elateroidea (click, firefy, and soldier beetles)  
 

Family

Lampyridae (fireflies)  
 

Subfamily

Lampyrinae (typical fireflies)  
 

Tribe

Photinini  
 

Genus

Ellychnia  
       
 

Research in 2003 suggests that Ellychnia corrusca may be a species complex, meaning that collected specimens of this species should be reclassified as several new species.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

diurnal firefly

winter firefly

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened or leathery forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs.

 

Pronotum

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

 

Tarsus

The last two to five sections of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Bill Reynolds

 
 

Found these fireflies hanging out on one of my bee hives.

 
    winter firefly   winter firefly  
           
    winter firefly      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Winter Firefly (Ellychnia corrusca)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Winter Firefly (Ellychnia corrusca)  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Ellychnia Fireflies (Lampyridae: Ellychnia corrusca) Mating
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 17, 2011

This is one of our most common diurnally-active fireflies (i.e., fireflies which do not possess abdominal light organs in the adult stage of their life cycle). Photographed at Fisher, Minnesota (17 June 2011).

 
  Diurnal Firefly (Lampyridae: Ellychnia corrusca) Mating
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 19, 2010

Photographed at Rydell NWR, Minnesota (18 May 2010). Go here to read more about this species: http://bugguide.net/node/view/42641

 
  Diurnal Firefly (Lampyridae: Ellychnia corrusca) Taking Flight
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 27, 2010

Photographed at the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (27 May 2010). Go here to read more about this species: http://bugguide.net/node/view/42641

 
  Diurnal Firefly (Lampyridae: Ellychnia corrusca) on Wall
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 24, 2011

Photographed at Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (24 May 2011). Thank you to 'v belov' (@Bugguide.net) for confirming the identity ofn this specimen!

 
  Diurnal Firefly (Lampyridae: Ellychnia corrusca) on Oak Bark
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 23, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (23 April 2011).

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
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  Bill Reynolds
9/20/2014

Location: Pennington Co MN

Found these fireflies hanging out on one of my bee hives.

winter firefly  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


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