Subject: Isopod?
Location: Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia Canada
August 6, 2012 8:58 am
Hi there – this looks like some sort of isopod, but I’ve not been able to find anything more specific. Perhaps it’s some sort of insect nymph instead? It’s maybe 1/2” long.
It was spotted in Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia Canada in August.
Signature: Jim

Possibly Net-Winged Beetle Larva

Hi Jim,
This is a beetle larva, and even experts can have difficulty distinguishing a Net-Winged Beetle larva from a Firefly Larva.  Firefly Larvae are predators and most species feed on snails.  Net-Winged Beetle Larvae tend to feed on fungus, and the presence of the partially eaten mushroom in the background contributed to our speculation that this is most likely a Net-Winged Beetle Larva, though snails will also feed on mushrooms and this could always be a predatory Firefly Larva searching for snails at their food source.  Interestingly, we found this online posting on Myrmecos Blogof a larva that looks very much like your larva.  It was originally identified as a Net-Winged Beetle, but then changed to a Firefly Larva. 

Possibly Net-Winged Beetle Larva

Thanks Daniel!  You may see that I had resubmitted my photo with a follow up question about whether it was a firefly larva, and it was in part because I also saw that same blog post.
I hadn’t considered the net winged beetle possibility.  I certainly do see beetles of approximately this type here in NS.  Even the adults look pretty similar to fireflies, don’t they?
Anyway, mystery (mostly) solved.
Incidentally, have there been any reports of a lack of fireflies across the continent this year, as with bees, and as with cicadas in some years?  I haven’t seen any fireflies at all in Nova Scotia this summer.

Fireflies were very plentiful in Ohio this June, and Pearl, our contact in Ohio reports that Fireflies were very common this summer, though thankfully, Japanese Beetles were noticeably absent.


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