Currently viewing the category: "Fireflies and Glowworms"
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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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

Subject: weird arthropod
Location: Windhoek, Namibia
March 19, 2014 2:42 pm
Hi, I found this very fascinating arthropod in my garden ( today at night, Windhoek, Namibia ). It is about 4cm in length and brightly coloured. 3 pairs of legs. About 12 segments with small paranota. It has a very small retractable soft head. It can coil up half way ( not fully like a centipede ) and is rather sluggish. It keeps “cleaning” itself with a special tail gland ( weird ). we have a lot of rain recently and more snails than usual. I found it close to some snails.
Could you please help to id it and what does it prey on ? Does it feed on small snails, maybe dead ones ? Is it a predator or rather a scavenger ? Is it Poisonous ?
Thanks,
Signature: Steve

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

Hi Steve,
Morphologically, your arthropod looks very similar to the larval form of two families of beetles in North America:  Firefly Larvae in the family Lampyridae, with individuals posted on BugGuide, and Net Winged Beetle Larvae in the family, also with individuals posted to BugGuide.  Eric Eaton once told us that if you want to be sure of the difference, place the larva between a snail and a mushroom.  If it goes after the snail, it is a Firefly larva.  If it goes after a mushroom, it is a Net Winged Beetle larva.  Firefly Larvae are predators that feed on Snails and Slugs.  They are not poisonous.

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange bug
Location: Southern Kentucky
February 24, 2014 4:39 pm
We found this bug on our deck in southern Kentucky. I have never seen anything like it. It’s body was hard and had spikes on it but the head was snail/caterpillar like and could stretch out really far.When touched, it pulled it’s head in and played dead.
Signature: Stumped

Firefly or Netwinged Beetle Larva

Firefly or Net-Winged Beetle Larva

Dear Stumped,
This is either the larva of a Firefly (see BugGuide) or the larva of a Net-Winged Beetle (see BugGuide).  If it eats snails, according to Eric Eaton, it is a Firefly Larva, and if it eats fungus, it is a Net-Winged Beetle Larva.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination