Currently viewing the category: "Fireflies and Glowworms"
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Subject: Very Interesting Insect
Location: Round Rock, Texas
July 7, 2014 11:58 pm
Hi,
I found this little guy in my house one night and thought it was just another moth or june bug, but once i got close to it I noticed how unusual it was. I have never really seen an insect like this before. I love the antennae on this guy, they’re so intricate. Its very unique looking to me, and I’ve always loved insects. Any information on what this could be would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
Signature: – Tyler Moore

Male Glowworm Beetle

Male Glowworm Beetle

Dear Tyler,
Thank you for providing us such marvelous documentary imagery from multiple angles of a male Glowworm Beetle in the family Phengodidae.  Unlike Fireflies, adult male Glowworms are not bioluminescent, however, the larvae, sometimes called Railroad Worms, are capable of emitting light. 

Male Glowworm Beetle

Male Glowworm Beetle

Male Glowworm Beetle

Male Glowworm Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Glowing Insect
Location: Vietnam
June 24, 2014 11:15 am
A friend of mine in Vietnam posted a video today. It contains a clip of an weird bug with a glowing bum. The video was taken at Cát Tiên national park (in Vietnam). He and I have both tried researching it with no success. It seems to have beetle like legs up front, but tiny catterpillar like legs on it’s rear end. The video is more helpful than the picture I provided. Could you help us out by identifying this weird insect? Here is a link to the video:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=10152232679183723&set=vb.737983722&type=2&theater&notif_t=comment_mention
Signature: ~Meagan Preston

Firefly

Firefly

Hi Meagan,
This is a Firefly in the family Lampyridae, and we believe it is either a larva or a larviform female.  See this image on BugGuide that shows a similar insect from Texas.

My friend says that looks right except the insect in question was bigger than his thumb. Do they get that big?

We are not certain how large Fireflies grow in tropical countries.  Alas, there is not a good comprehensive identification source for Vietnamese insect identifications that we are aware of that is in English.

He sent me a photograph.

Firefly Larva or Larviform Female Firefly

Firefly Larva or Larviform Female Firefly

Thanks Meagan,
The new image has much more detail.  We stick to our guns on this being a Firefly Larva or adult Larviform (usually female) Firefly.  Again, we are not familar with species from Vietnam, but when time permits, we will attempt to provide you with some additional information.

 

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Subject: Winter Dark Fireflies
Location: Monroe County, Ohio
April 9, 2014 6:56 am
I found several dozen of these on the sides of Chestnut Oak trees on April 6. I think they are winter dark fireflies (Ellychnia corrusca), although I’ve read that it’s more likely a complex of closely related, undescribed species. My question is about the larvae form that is with it. There were equal numbers of adults and larvae on the trees. Is this the same species with both adults and mature larvae at the same time? Are these females that have retained there larval characteristics like Phengodidae glowworms.
Thank you!
Signature: Laura

Winter Firefly and Larva

Winter Firefly and Larva

Hi Laura,
We want to compliment you on your awesome images.  We sharpened them slightly due to the shallow depth of field.  This is the second letter we have received of Winter Fireflies in the past two days.  We did locate an image on BugGuide of a mating pair of Winter Fireflies, so we are confident that your images are NOT of larviform females.  Are they the same species?  We cannot be certain, but finding the larvae and the adults together is a good indication they are the same species.  We have a difficult enough time distinguishing Firefly Larvae from Net-Winged Beetle Larvae, so we would not want to be conclusive, but your photos do bring up the possibility of aggregations of adult and larvae Winter Fireflies coexisting.  BugGuide has an image reported to be the larvae of the Winter Firefly, but they appear redder than your images.
  The image on PBase is a much closer color match to your individual.  The images of the adult and larva taken by Christine Hanrahan were shot in April 2011.  There are questions regarding the two stages posed by Claudia:  “Do they overwinter both as adults and larvae? Or have some of the larvae already pupated and become adults?” but the questions are not answered.  We would strongly suggest that you also submit your images to BugGuide which has a much larger community of individuals who can supply comments.  Your photos might turn out to be an important documentation of the cohabitation of adults and larvae of the Winter Firefly.  Or, as Claudia asks, we might be seeing a group of individuals of the same generation who matured at slightly different times.

Winter Firefly Larva

Winter Firefly Larva

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: april lightning bug?
Location: southwest virginia
April 8, 2014 9:23 am
This looks like a lightning bug, but it’s a good inch long and the tail looks weird to me, plus it’s early April.
Signature: stephanie lane

Winter Firefly

Winter Firefly

Hi Stephanie,
We opened your letter yesterday, and we got distracted before we could respond.  Then we answered other letters.  This morning there is another request regarding Winter Fireflies,
Ellychnia corrusca, so we thought we would get to you first.  According to this BugGuide posting from Maine in early February several years ago, the Winter Firefly is:  “Commonly seen on snow and tree trunks.”  BugGuide also notes it:  “can be a pest in sap buckets in the spring.”  It is a diurnal species.

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Subject: Mystery Bug
Location: Northeast Kentucky
March 28, 2014 6:44 pm
I happened to see and capture a photo of this creature today (March 28, 2014). It is unlike anything I have ever seen before. It was crawling up the block foundation of my house. I first thought it was a hellgrammite because there has been standing water underneath my house and from what I understand, hellgrammites are found in water. I most certainly don’t know enough to say for sure though. Any help with a true identification would be most appreciated.
Signature: Curious

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

Dear Curious,
This is probably the larva of a Firefly, but we would not want to eliminate the possibility of it being the larva of a Net Winged Beetle, which you may view on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Maybe a Cassidinae from Costa Rica?
Location: -83:12:28; 8:41:45
March 28, 2014 1:02 pm
Hello bugman,
right now i’m in costa rica for studying orchid bees and their behavior.
Another thing that i have to do is to create a photo book with determinated animals.
Today i found this little bug, but since i’m really not an expert in this kind of stuff, i would really apreciate if you guys could help me with this.
my first guess is a cassinidae, but maybe i’m totally wrong.
best wishes,
Signature: René

What's That Beetle???

What’s That Beetle???:  A Firefly

Hi René,
We do not believe this is a Tortoise Beetle in the subfamily Cassidinae.  The antennae are wrong.  We believe this is in the superfamily Elateroidea, which includes Click Beetles, Fireflies and other families with similar body shape and potentially feathered antennae, and you can see some similar looking beetles on BugGuide.  We are posting your images and we will continue to research your request.

What's That Beetle???

Firefly from Costa Rica

Update:  March 30, 2014
Thanks to a comment from Cesar Crash who runs Insetologia in Brazil, we now know that this is a Firefly, Lamprocera picta which can be viewed on Bold Systems Taxonomy Browser.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination