Currently viewing the category: "Fireflies and Glowworms"
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Aquatic Larva

Aquatic Firefly Larva

Subject: Unknown aquatic macroinvert
Location: Huntington, Indiana
October 11, 2014 9:27 am
Hey bugman!
The college ecology class I teach found this critter while sampling a small, wooded creek on our campus. I’ve shown the picture to a couple of aquatic ecologists I know and none of them have been able to identify it yet. The best we can come up with is that it is some sort of free living caddisfly (Trichoptera). The “shell” looks a lot like an aquatic isopod though! It definitely had only 6 legs. ~1.5-2 cm in length.
Any ideas?
Signature: Collin Hobbs

Hi Collin,
We haven’t a clue as to the identity of your creature, but we wonder if it might be the larva of an aquatic beetle because it really resembles a Firefly Larva or a Netwing Beetle Larva.  We are not certain if there are any aquatic beetle larvae that look like this, but we believe that is a more likely candidate than the larva of a Caddisfly.  We will try contacting Eric Eaton to see if he can provide any information.

Eric Eaton confirms our identification
On my way out the door, but….
Looks like a firefly larva to me, and there are species that prey exclusively on aquatic snails….
Eric

Ed. Note:  Beetles in the Bush and Cambridge Journals Online both have articles on aquatic Firefly Larvae.

MaryBeth Kelly, Veronica Enos Amaral liked this post
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Subject: glowworm?
Location: Missouri, USA
September 27, 2014 3:09 pm
I’m not quite sure on this one, I’m thinking it’s either a glowworm or a trilobite beetle? there’s a bit of pinkish coloring on the underside and its slow moving and calm. not too large or anything
Signature: Stolz

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

Dear Stolz,
Glowworms are larvae and larviform females of beetles in the family Phengodidae, and coincidentally, we just finished posting an image of a Glowworm.  Your individual is a Firefly Larva in the family Lampyridae, and though both families are known for Bioluminescence, they are distinct families, even though we have categorized them together on our site.  You can compare your image of a Firefly larva to images posted to BugGuide.

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

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Subject: Centipede Looking Creature
Location: Raleigh NC
September 27, 2014 11:02 am
I was out in my back yard walking around and I saw this bug crawling along on the ground. I pulled out my phone and took some pictures. Could you tell me what I saw?
Signature: Joe S.

Glowworm

Glowworm

Dear Joe,
If you had the ability to darken the surroundings, you would have had a nice surprise because this is a Glowworm or Railroad Worm.  They are bioluminescent, hence they glow at night.  Your individual is in the genus
Phenogodes, and you can get additional information on BugGuide.

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Subject: What’s this bug
Location: North America , Georgia
August 6, 2014 9:18 am
I live in middle Georgia (United States) , it’s Summer here I found this strange flying bug last night flying at me but it disappeared. This morning it was in my room. What is it , where did it come from and more important who sent it
Signature: Yes

Glowworm

Glowworm

Dear Yes,
You write as though you suspect this is a conspiracy.  This is an adult male Glowworm Beetle, and the luminescent larvae are sometimes called Railroad Worms.  It is a harmless and beneficial insect.  Since the concept of Spontaneous Generation has been scientifically dispelled, we postulate that it is descended from other Glowworms, and we can’t imagine who sent it, but since “males come to lights” according to BugGuide, we imagine it was attracted to your illuminated interior.

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Subject: glowing worm
Location: Auburn, NY
August 2, 2014 1:54 pm
I found this worm in my kitchen late at night, maybe brought in on the fur of a cat, but
it was glowing yellow/green, I caught it and looked at it in the day and still don’t know what it is
Signature: Pat P

Glowworm

Glowworm

Hi Pat P,
Though it is commonly called a Glowworm or Railroad Worm, this is actually the larva of a beetle in the family Phengodidae, and we have several images on our sight that document the glowing of Glowworms.

Thanks so much.
I was at a loss to know.
Have a truly wonderful day!
Pat

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Subject: Bug from Honduras
Location: Roatan, Honduras
July 28, 2014 9:46 pm
Hello there!
We found this insect in Roatan, Honduras in my friend’s shower. We have spend hours online trying to identify this creature and are coming up empty. The wings on it’s head are so strange! Like long eyelashes! It also looks like the bottom might have a stinger. Please help. We are dying to know the answer.
Signature: Lynette

Male Glowworm Beetle

Male Glowworm Beetle

Hi Lynette,
This is a male Glowworm Beetle in the family Phengodidae, and you can see its resemblance to this image on BugGuide.  The wings and feathered antennae indicate this is a male.  According to BugGuide:  “Adult males have variously shortened/narrowed soft elytra, branched antennae, and bulging eyes; adult females are larviform (often all but impossible to tell from fully-grown larvae) and, like the larvae, have bioluminescent organs.”

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