Currently viewing the category: "Fireflies and Glowworms"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar like black bug with red spots
Geographic location of the bug:  North Carolina
Date: 10/25/2017
Time: 09:22 PM EDT
Saw this in the bathroom on the floor at work today. Never saw one before and was curious to see what it was exactly. It appered to only have 6 legs and drag its rear behind. Took the pics and it was relocated outside where it belongs.
How you want your letter signed:  Gin

Glowworm

Dear Gin,
Had you turned out the lights, you would have seen this Glowworm phosphoresce with green light.  A glowing Glowworm, also known as a Railroad Worm, is an impressive sight.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Glowing bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Hopkinsville ky.
Date: 10/15/2017
Time: 12:09 PM EDT
After dark , just the other nite. I seen this glow out on the yard, look like a lightning bug glow. Went to investigate it an this is what I found.
How you want your letter signed:  Robert Daniels

Firefly Larva

Dear Robert,
This is the larva of a Firefly and many larval Fireflies are also capable of bioluminescence.  There is a similar image of a Firefly larva on the University of Kentucky Entomology site.

Thank you so much! Never dreamed that a firefly larva would look like this. Looked more like some type of roly poly spiecis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identify insect?
Location: Troy Michigan
August 22, 2017 6:49 pm
My friend was stung by this bug and became very ill. She feels there was a nest in the ground. She had a severe reaction and ended up in emergency.
Signature: Thank You, Julia B

Firefly

Dear Julia B,
We do not doubt that something made your friend sick enough to end up in the emergency room, but are you certain this is the culprit?  Perhaps it is circumstantial evidence that caused this Firefly to be a suspect, like it was found near your friend after the incident.  Fireflies are actually Beetles, and to the best of our knowledge, no  Beetles are capable of stinging.  To the best of our knowledge, Fireflies are not considered a threat to humans.  We strongly suspect it was something else that caused the reaction in your friend.  This appears to be a Winter Firefly based on this BugGuide page, and despite its name, BugGuide reports sightings in Michigan in July and September as well as other months.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identify please
Location: Virginia
July 11, 2017 10:54 am
Found dead in motel room in Virginia
Signature: No

Firefly

Dear No,
This is a Firefly or Lightning Bug, and they are much more impressive alive, outdoors, providing a summer light show than they are when found dead in a motel room.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found in South Florida. What is it?
Location: South Florida
July 8, 2017 6:43 am
this bug was found by a neighbor in South Florida. Any idea what it is? I have never seen anything like it.
Signature: Kim

Glowworm

Dear Kim,
The angle of this image is quite odd, but this is still recognizable as a male Glowworm, which you can verify by comparing your image to  this BugGuide image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Glowworm
Location: Forest near Newport, Oregon
January 26, 2017 11:47 pm
This bug has bothered me for years. As a kid, I discovered these tiny bugs in the topsoil of a forest a few miles out of Newport, Oregon, near a cabin where my family stays occasionally. The bug is remarkable in that the circumstances to discover it were extraordinary.
Me and my brother and some of our friends created a game we called ‘real-life Slenderman’ where we would go out in the woods at night and try to collect notebook pages, like in the video game ‘Slender’, all while being pursued by my brother wearing a mask. Good for some thrills, certainly. The game necessitates spending a good amount of time alone in the woods in pitch darkness. Because of this, we quickly discovered minuscule lights in the soil beneath our feet, impossible to see except in total darkness. We found tiny segmented bugs with two faintly glowing ‘eyespots’ on their backs, which we observed in detail upon collecting some and bringing them into the house. They are less than a quarter inch long, dark brown, and segmented. I don’t remember if it was the front two spots or the back two that glowed, but it was two spots on each one. They were quite mobile when brought into the house, and moved in centipede-like fashion across a plate.
Since then, I have gone to the same spot many times to try and find more ‘glowworms’, but have not been able to find any. I did a thorough internet search on any ‘glowworms’ native to the Pacific Northwest, but found nothing remotely resembling this find. Perhaps it is not known as a ‘glowworm’ since the glowing is extremely faint.
I would love to have this resolved, and if nothing else, the story of how it was discovered is worth appreciating.
Signature: -Rebecca

Firefly Larvae

Dear Rebecca,
We actually believe these are Firefly Larvae from the family Lampyridae and not Glowworms in the family Phengodidae, but we are really reluctant to provide a more specific identification. 
Pterotus obscuripennis is an Oregon species pictured on BugGuide, but it looks very different from your larvae.

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination