Currently viewing the category: "Fireflies and Glowworms"

Subject:  Large Coleoptera larcae
Geographic location of the bug:  Monteagle TN
Date: 10/24/2021
Time: 11:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found a large beetle larva while walking the dog tonight.
I would like to submit picture for iNaturalist but am stumped on ID. I have seen this species before.
How you want your letter signed:  Chris Waldrup

Railroad Worm

Dear Chris,
This is the larva of a Glowworm Beetle, commonly called a Railroad Worm because of its ability to glow green in the dark as an example of bioluminescence.  We believe your individual is in the genus
Phengodes based on BugGuide images.  Here is a BugGuide image of a Glowing Glowworm.

Subject:  Insect ID Please
Geographic location of the bug:  Shepherdsville, Kentucky
Date: 09/11/2021
Time: 07:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This insect was seen on 9/11/21 in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Can you tell me what it is, please? Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Bugman

Railroad Worm

We never tire of posting good images of Railroad Worms or Glowworms.  Glowworms are bioluminescent.

Subject:  Firefly
Geographic location of the bug:  Campbell, Ohio
Date: 07/29/2021
Time: 8:51 PM EDT
Gentle Readers,
Daniel has watched the sunset the past three nights in Ohio and as soon as the sun drops below the horizon, the Lightning Bugs start flashing.  Based on the flash patterns, flash colors, and the flying habits, Daniel is certain there are numerous species present, but alas, he does not have the necessary skills to identify them to the species level.


Because it is still light enough to see, Daniel continued to eradicate invasive prickly thistles that have overrun parts of the yard, and he found this shy Firefly flashing from the sedum.  The day before, Daniel tried unsuccessfully to capture the experience of watching hundreds of flashing Fireflies with the camera on his iPhone, but alas, much like photos of the Grand Canyon, it is not the same as being there and experiencing it.  As a side note, it is also nice to watch the bats flying in the twilight catching insects.

LIghtning Bugs Flashing (hard to capture with cellular telephone)


Subject:  pink firefly larva?
Geographic location of the bug:  80133
Date: 06/13/2021
Time: 10:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman :  I found about 20 of these next to N. Monument Creek in Palmer Lake, CO.
How you want your letter signed:  Mr. Lauren Penner

Larviform Female Firefly

Dear Lauren,
16 years ago we posted a similar looking image of a Firefly from Colorado that Arthur V. Evans (through Eric Eaton) identified as a pink female
Microphotus pecosensis. We believe you likely encountered the same species, and here is a BugGuide image for comparison.

Larviform Female Firefly

Subject:  Cool Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Paradise Mountain, Valley Center, California
Date: 04/11/2021
Time: 11:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m thinking this is a male Glow Worm Beetle that is…
Zarhipis integripennis?
How you want your letter signed:  Bomberojohn79


Dear Bomberojohn79,
The Western Glowworm males pictured on BugGuide have orange legs.  We actually believe this is a Firefly,
Pterotus obscuripennis, based on this BugGuide image, and according to BugGuide:  “comes to lights in spring/early summer.”

Thank you so much for setting me straight.

Subject:  Identification of insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Grand Rapids, MI
Date: 07/07/2020
Time: 06:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I don’t know what this insect is.  I found it on a door frame in the morning on a summer day.
Thank you for any information you can provide.
How you want your letter signed:  M.J. Moriarty

Male Glowworm Beetle

Dear MJ,
This is a male Glowworm Beetle.
  According to BugGuide:  “mostly nocturnal; males come to lights.”