Currently viewing the category: "Fireflies and Glowworms"
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

Subject: Bioluminescense Beetle
Location: Illovo beach, kingsburgh, kzn, south africa
December 7, 2016 2:32 pm
Hi. I found this one flying in home about 23h00pm. Caught it in a jar with sand and some leaves. Hoping its alive tomorrow evening to show my son.
Signature: not private?

Firefly

Firefly

This is a Firefly, a beetle in the family Lampyridae, but unfortunately, we did not find a visual match on iSpot.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pink and black larvae?
Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
November 11, 2016 5:40 pm
Hi there,
I found this really cool looking insect while hiking in northern Michigan and I’ve never seen anything like it! It looks like a larvae of some sort and is black on the top and pink underneath. It was just under the top layer of a rotten log and was about an inch (3 cm) long. If you can ID it that would be awesome!
Signature: M

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

Dear M,
This is the larva of a Firefly and you can verify our identification by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae prey on small animals, including snails” and “larvae mostly in damp situations.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bioluminescent bug
Location: Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
November 7, 2016 6:47 pm
Found several of these after dark on a drizzly day. They were in leaf litter near the Little Buffalo river in the Ozark Mountians of Arkansas on November 9. Temperature was about 60F. Rain was the first precipitation in over three weeks. They glowed on and off like fire flies but with a slower rythm thatn the fliers usually do. Fire fly larva or Glowworm?
Thanks
Signature: Bugs Rule!

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

This is definitely a Firefly LarvaGlowworms look quite different.  We wish you were able to submit an image showing the bioluminescence.

I will give it a try!  Thanks for the feedback.
BT

Firefly Larva

Firefly Larva

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unidentified firefly species
Location: Central Massachusetts
June 29, 2016 9:00 am
I’ve never seen a firefly like this one before. It’s small, about 1 centimeter long, and was attracted to my porchlight. It’s capable of lighting up a deep green color, but reluctant to do so and the flash isn’t very bright. I couldn’t find a match on bugguide.
Signature: Sam

Firefly

Firefly

Dear Sam,
Alas, though we are not able to identify your Firefly past the family level, we will post your three wonderful images and perhaps one of our readers more skilled at identifying Lampyridae than we are will be able to provide more conclusive information.

Firefly

Firefly

Update:  Thanks to a comment from Gene St. Denis, we are linking to the genus Photinus on BugGuide.

Firefly

Firefly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What the heck?
Location: Nevada County, CA.
June 19, 2016 11:31 am
Found in Nevada County CA. Can you tell me what this freakish thing is?
Signature: Carol Macarty

Male Glowworm

Male Western Banded Glowworm

Dear Carol,
This is an adult male Glowworm Beetle probably the Western Banded Glowworm,
Zarhipis integripennis, which is pictured on BugGuide.  While male Fireflies that flash with bioluminescence as adults signalling to females that respond by flashing back, male Glowworms do not light up and only  larviform female Glowworms glow in the dark to attract a mate.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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