Elateriformia (Coleoptera)

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J. F. Lawrence, A. M. Hastings, M. J. Dallwitz, T. A. Paine and E. J. Zurcher

Lampyrinae (major part) LAMPYRIDAE

(Including Drilidae part, Cyphonocerinae, Psilocladinae).

Classification. Polyphaga: Elateriformia.

Distribution. Lampyrinae occur in all major regions of the world, but are absent from Australia and New Zealand.

Biogeographic regions: Nearctic, Palearctic, Neotropical, Afrotropical, Oriental, Australian.

Biology. Lampyrinae includes most of the typical fireflies, which may be luminescent as adults and larvae; however light organs are absent in many groups or in some species of typically luminescent genera, such as Photinus. Lampyrine larvae are predaceous, feeding on a variety of soft-bodied invertebrates, such as earthworms, snails and slugs or arthropods. It is likely that most species do not feed as adults.

Notes. Lampyrinae, as understood here, includes the Psilocladinae (= Cyphonocerinae), which was considered by Crowson (1972) to be a separate subfamily. Molecular studies based on several Japanese genera have shown that Psilocladinae and Lampyrinae form a clade, and it is difficult to find any morphological characters consistently separating the two, when the world fauna is taken into consideration.

References

Barber, H. S. 1923. A remarkable wingless glow-worm from Ecuador (Coleoptera, Lampyridae). Inscitiae Menstruus 11: 191–194, pl. 12.

Brues, C. T. 1941. Characteristics of the larviform female of the lampyrid beetle, Lamprophorus. Psyche 48: 41–44.

Buck, J. B. 1947. Studies on the firefly, IV: ten new lampyrids from Jamaica. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 97: 59–79, pl. 1.

Cicero, J. M. 1988. Ontophylogenetics of cantharoid larviforms (Coleoptera: Cantharoidea). Coleopterists Bulletin 42: 105–151.

Crowson, R. A. 1972. A review of the classification of Cantharoidea (Coleoptera), with the definition of two new families, Cneoglossidae and Omethidae. Revista de la Universidad de Madrid 21(82): 35–77.

Geisthardt, M. 1979. 26. Familie: Lampyridae, pp. 14–18. IN: H. Freude, K. W. Harde and G. A. Lohse (eds.), Die Käfer Mitteleuropas. Band 6. Diversicornia. Goecke & Evers, Krefeld.

Gorham, H. S. 1880. I. Materials for a revision of the Lampyridae. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1880: 1–36, 83–112.

Green, J. W. 1948. Two new species of Lampyridae from southern Florida with a generic revision of the Nearctic fauna (Coleoptera). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 74: 61–73.

Harvey, E. N. 1952. Bioluminescence. Academic Press, New York, xvi + 649 pp.

Jeng, M.-L. and P.-S. Yang 1998. The genus Cyphonocerus (Coleoptera, Lampyridae) from Taiwan and Japan, with notes on the subfamily Cyphonocerinae. Elytra, Tokyo 26: 379–398.

Lea, A. M. 1909. Revision of the Australian and Tasmanian Malacodermidae. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1909: 45–251.

Lloyd, J. E. 1983. Bioluminescence and communication in insects. Annual Review of Entomology 28: 131–160. Luciolini). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 96: 223–305.

Lloyd, J. E. 2000. 70. Lampyridae. IN: R. H. Arnett, Jr., Jr. and M. C. Thomas (eds.), American Beetles. CRC Press, Gainesville, Florida (in press).

McDermott, F. A. 1962. Illustrations of the aedeagi of the Lampyridae (Coleoptera). Coleopterists Bulletin 16: 21–27.

McDermott, F. A. 1964. The taxonomy of the Lampyridae (Coleoptera). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 90: 1–72.

McDermott, F. A. 1966. Pars 9 (Editio secunda). Lampyridae. IN: W. O. Steel (ed.), Coleopterorum Catalogus Supplementa. W. Junk, The Hague, 149 pp.

McDermott, F. A. and J. D. Buck 1959. The lampyrid fireflies of Jamaica. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 85: 1–112.

Naisse, J. 1966. Contrôl endocrinien de la différenciation sexuelle chez l'insecte Lampyris Noctiluca (Coléoptère Malacoderme Lampyride). I. - Rôle androgène des testicules. Archives de Biologie (Liège) 77: 139–201.

Olivier, E. 1885. Catalogue des Lampyrides faisant partie des collection du Musée Civique de Gênes. Abbali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova 22: 333–374.

Olivier, E. 1888. Études sur les Lampyrides. III. Les genres à antennes flabellées. 2e Partie. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (6) 8: 35–62, pl. 1.

Olivier, E. 1907. Coleoptera Fam. Lampyridae. IN: P. Wytsman (ed.), Genera Insectorum. Fascicle 53. P. Wytsman, Brussels, 74 pp., 3 pls.

Olivier, E. 1910. Pars 9. Lampyridae. IN: S. Schenkling (ed.), Coleopterorum Catalogus. W. Junk, Berlin, 68 pp.

Olivier, E. 1910. Pars 10. Rhagophthalmidae, Drilidae. IN: S. Schenkling (ed.), Coleopterorum Catalogus. W. Junk, Berlin, 10 pp.

Olivier, E. 1913. The Lampyridae of Borneo. Sarawak Museum Journal 3: 55–60.

Suzuki, H. 1998. Phylogeny of Japanese fireflies inferred from DNA sequences. Nature and Insects (Konchu to Shizen), Tokyo 33: 11–15.

Wittmer, W. 1944. Catalogue des Drilidae E. Oliv. (Coleoptera-Malacodermata). Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina 12: 203–221.

Wenzel, H. W. 1896. Notes on Lampyridae, with the description of a female and larva. Entomological News 7: 294–296, pl. 11.

General appearance. Total length 4–30 mm. Ratio of body length to greatest body width 1.7–3.05. Body strongly flattened, or slightly flattened to moderately convex. Sides of body not evenly curved. Body not capable of conglobation (rolling into a ball). Upper surfaces of body clothed with distinct hairs, setae or scales. Vestiture of upper surfaces not including stiff, erect, dark bristles; not including scales or scale-like setae. Upper surfaces of body without deep foveae. Prothorax, metathorax and-or abdomen without extrusible glands. Underside of body without hydrofuge surface(s).

Head. Ratio of head length to its greatest width (excluding eyes) 1 or less. Head width just behind eyes not distinctly greater than prothoracic width. Head not or slightly declined, or moderately to strongly declined; entirely concealed from above by pronotum; without elongate rostrum; not abruptly constricted posteriorly. Temples absent or not closely adpressed to prothorax; absent. Transverse occipital ridge or carina absent. Occiput without stridulatory file. Longitudinal axis of head (from occipital foramen to mouth cavity) inclined at an angle of less than 45 degrees, or inclined at an angle of 45 to 90 degrees. Frontal region not to moderately, gradually declined, or strongly deflexed, vertical or inflexed at apex only. Occipital region without median longitudinal groove or line (endocarina), or with median longitudinal groove or line (endocarina). Frontal region without median groove or line (endocarina). Head without ocelli.

Compound eyes present. Eyes not or only slightly protuberant, or strongly protuberant. Vertical diameter of eye less than 2 times horizontal diameter. Eyes finely facetted; without interfacetal setae. Ommatidium of the exocone type. Eye entire. Anterior or mesal edge of eye not or only barely emarginate. Posterior edge of eye not or barely emarginate.

Antennal insertions exposed from above; located anterior to imaginary line joining anterior edges of eyes; closely approximate or contiguous. Antennae not borne on raised tubercles. Antennal insertions flush with head capsule or raised, not in fossae. Subantennal groove or cavity on head absent or very weakly developed. Frontoclypeal suture absent or incomplete. Clypeus not laterally emarginate. Anterior edge of clypeus or clypeolabrum straight to convex, or concave to shallowly emarginate. Mouth cavity anteriorly or anteroventrally oriented. Pregular area without laterally opening cavities. Head ventrally without paired subgenal ridges. Head without anteriorly-projecting genal processes. Gular sutures widely separated or absent, or narrowly separated, or at least partly confluent. Corporotentorium incomplete or absent. Cervical sclerites present.

Antennae. Number of antennomeres 8–15. Antennae when posteriorly extended not reaching middle of prothorax, or reaching beyond middle of prothorax but not middle of elytra, or reaching beyond middle of elytra but not elytral apices. Antennae filiform, or moniliform, or serrate, or pectinate or bipectinate, or flabellate or biflabellate, or plumose or biplumose, or perfoliate. Antennomeres 3, 4 or 5 to 10 without or with single rami (uniramose), or with double rami (biramose). Antennae at least partly pubescent or with obvious modifications. Antennal modifications beginning on antennomere 3 (rarely 2). First antennomere (scape) less than 3 times as long as 2nd (pedicel), or more than 3 times as long as 2nd (pedicel). Antenna not geniculate; without apical club.

Mouthparts. Labrum at least partly visible, or concealed beneath clypeus or apparently absent; free, membranous or separated by suture, or partly or completely fused to clypeus or frontoclypeus, without or with incomplete suture. Major portion of labrum strongly transverse, or slightly transverse or subquadrate. Apex of labrum subtruncate to slightly convex. Labrum moderately to heavily sclerotized, except at base and-or apex. Mouthparts not forming a piercing or sucking tube. Mandibles present, or absent. Mandible very narrow and elongate. Mandibular apex not or slightly and gradually curved mesally, or moderately to strongly, gradually curved mesally; unidentate, truncate or rounded; subacute, bidentate or multidentate. Dorsal part of mandible without tubercle; without setose cavity. Mandible moderately to strongly, more or less evenly sclerotized or pigmented; visible in lateral view. Incisor edge of mandible simple. Mandible without mola; with well developed prostheca, or with reduced prostheca. Prostheca absent or without articulated, sclerotized process. Inner basal angle of mandible without pubescent process, or with pubescent process. Maxilla with distinct galea and lacinia, or with single apical lobe. Maxillary lobe(s) not stylet-like. Apex of galea or maxillary lobe densely setose or spinose; without heavily sclerotized teeth or hooks. Lacinia without hook(s) or spine(s). Apical maxillary palpomere cylindrical to fusiform, or slightly expanded and truncate to subtriangular, or securiform to cultriform; at least as wide as or longer than preapical one. Maxillary palp without complex palp organ. Apical labial palpomere cylindrical to fusiform, or slightly to strongly expanded apically. Ligula undivided or finely cleft.

Prothorax. Ratio of pronotal length to greatest pronotal width 0.42–0.85. Prothorax widest posteriorly. Sides of prothorax more or less straight, or moderately to strongly curved, or straight posteriorly, curved anteriorly, or sinuate. Prothorax not laterally compressed to form cavities for legs. Sides of prothorax not or slightly explanate, or moderately to strongly, horizontally explanate. Base of prothorax not or slightly narrower than elytral bases. Greatest prothoracic width not or slightly narrower than greatest elytral width. Lateral pronotal carinae complete; simple; visible for their entire lengths from above; without a raised margin. Lateral portion of prothorax without deep pit. Pronotum without anterolateral callosities. Anterior angles of pronotum absent or not produced forward; absent, right or rounded, not produced. Posterior angles of pronotum absent or broadly rounded, or obtuse or right, or moderately to strongly acute; not produced and acute, or strongly produced and narrowly acute. Posterior edge of pronotum more or less straight or evenly rounded, or distinctly sinuate or variously lobed; simple; not or vaguely margined, or with narrow raised margin or bead. Discal carinae of pronotum absent, or located on posterior angles only. Pronotal disc without paired basal impressions, or with paired basal impressions. Pronotum without median longitudinal groove or line, or with median longitudinal groove or line. Anterior edge of pronotum simple, without margin. Hypomeron without pit.

Lateral portion of prosternum in front of coxae shorter than mid length of procoxal cavity. Anterior edge of prosternum not produced anteriorly. Prosternum in front of coxae flat to moderately convex. Prosternum in front of coxae without paired lines or carinae. Anterior edge of prosternum without margin; without mesal excavation. Anterolateral or ventrolateral portions of prothorax without cavities or grooves. Prothoracic cavities absent. Prothoracic grooves absent. Prosternal process absent. Accessory (mesal) procoxal articulation absent. Ventral portion of prothorax on each side with notosternal suture only. Propleuron not extending to anterior edge of prothorax. Propleuron or pleurotrochantin not extending behind coxa. Procoxae projecting well below prosternum. Procoxa without or with short concealed lateral extension. Procoxal cavities present, procoxae countersunk, or absent, procoxae attached externally. Procoxal cavity strongly transverse. Procoxal cavities at middle contiguous. Procoxal cavities externally open; broadly open. Postcoxal projection absent or very short. Procoxal cavities without narrow lateral extensions. Procoxal cavities internally open. Prothoracic trochantin or pleurotrochantin at least partly exposed. Promesothoracic clicking mechanism absent.

Elytra. Elytra present. Ratio of elytral length to greatest elytral width 1.35–2.52. Ratio of elytral length to pronotal length 2.7–5.2. Elytra apunctate, irregularly punctate, or with 5 or fewer distinct puncture rows or striae; without scutellary striole. Sutural stria absent or not deeply impressed near apex. Abdominal tergites exposed by elytra none or apex of 1, or most of one, or at least one but less than 2. Exposed abdominal segments more or less flexible. Elytral apices meeting or almost meeting at the suture, or independently rounded or acute and separated by broad gap. Elytral suture not deflected near apex. Elytral apex without internal interlocking tongue. Epipleuron absent or incomplete, or complete; not or gradually narrowed. Lateral edge of elytron straight or weakly sinuate.

Pterothorax. Scutellum well developed; not abruptly elevated; anteriorly simple; posteriorly narrowly rounded or acute, or broadly rounded or obtusely angulate, or truncate. Mesoscutum without stridulatory file. Mesoventrite without paired procoxal rests. Paired mesoventral procoxal rests absent, horizontal or slightly oblique. Anterior edge of mesoventrite without prosternal rest. Mesoventrite not divided by longitudinal groove or discrimen. Anterior edge of mesoventrite at midline on same plane as metaventrite. Mesoventral cavity absent. Mesocoxa conical and projecting. Mesocoxal cavities present, mesocoxae countersunk, or absent, mesocoxae attached externally. Mesocoxal cavities at middle contiguous, or narrowly separated. Mesocoxae separated by less than shortest diameter of coxal cavity. Mesocoxal cavities circular to slightly transverse; moderately to strongly oblique. Mesoventrite separated by complete sutures from mesepisterna, or partly or completely fused to mesepisterna. Mesepisterna distinctly separated at midline; without deep pockets. Mesepimeron not visible from above. Mesocoxal cavities open laterally; not partly closed by metepisterna. Mesoventral process absent or not extending to middle of mesocoxal cavity. Mesometaventral junction absent or a point, or a posteriorly curved, angulate or acute line. Mesoventral and metaventral processes at midline separated by gap, groove, or suture. Accessory (mesal) mesocoxal articulation absent.

Metaventral discrimen or median line moderately to very long. Paired postcoxal lines of metaventrite absent. Postcoxal lines of metaventrite absent. Metaventrite longer than first abdominal ventrite. Postcoxal pits of metaventrite absent. Metaventrite moderately to strongly convex. Transverse groove of metaventrite absent. Anterior edge of metaventrite without transverse carina between mesocoxal cavities. Exposed portion of metepisternum short and broad, or moderately elongate. Metacoxae contiguous or narrowly separated; separated by less than longest coxal diameter; extending laterally to meet elytra or sides of body; completely separated from metaventrite by suture. Metacoxal plates weakly developed, or absent; not concealing most of basal abdominal ventrite. Metacoxae not greatly enlarged; horizontally oriented, or obliquely oriented. Lateral arms of metendosternite short or absent, or moderately to very long. Metendosternal laminae absent. Ventrolateral processes of metendosternite absent or weakly developed. Anterior process of metendosternite moderately long. Anterior tendons of metendosternite moderately or very close together. Apical portion of metendosternite not or only slightly emarginate.

Hind wing. Hind wing well developed, or highly reduced or absent; with normal transverse folds. Radial cell of hind wing well developed; elongate. Inner posterior angle formed at base of radial cell right or obtuse. Radial cell not forming equilateral triangle. Ratio of length of apical area to total wing length less than 0.2. Apical area of hind wing without veins or sclerotizations, or with one or more vague sclerotizations or pigment patches. Medial bar of hind wing not crossed by fold. Free veins in medial area of hind wing 5 or 6, or 4. Oblongum cell of hind wing absent. Medial fleck of hind wing absent; absent or not partly bisected by a vein. Wedge cell of hind wing well developed, or absent. Apex of wedge cell of hind wing squarely truncate. Anal lobe of hind wing absent. Posterior edge of hind wing without fringe of long hairs.

Legs. Femoral attachment of mid trochanter strongly oblique with base of femur separate from coxa. Mesotrochanter not reduced or concealed from below. Metafemur not much wider than mesofemur. Mesotibia not strongly widened. Outer edge of mesotibia simple, crenulate or denticulate. Outer subapical edge of mesotibia without antenna cleaner. Preapical surfaces of mesotibia without ridges or combs. Outer apical angle of mesotibia simple or slightly produced, without lobe, teeth or spines. Inner apical angle of mesotibia not or slightly produced, without tooth. Mesotibial spurs glabrous or absent; double, or absent. Mesotarsus with 5 distinct tarsomeres (pentamerous). Tarsomeres on hind leg at least as many as on mid leg. Tarsomeres on fore leg at least as many as on mid leg. Mesotarsomere 1 well developed and visible. Preapical mesotarsomeres together longer than apical one. Penultimate mesotarsomere not distinctly shorter than antepenultimate. Ventral mesotarsal lobes on penultimate tarsomere only. Mesotarsal claws paired; subequal in length and similar in form and angle of inclination; simple. Appendage on each tarsal claw absent. Mesotarsal claws without setae near base. Mesotarsal empodium absent or concealed; absent or with 2 or fewer setae. Outer edge of protibia simple and rounded to carinate but without lobes or teeth, except at apex. Outer apical angle of protibia simple or slightly produced, without lobe, teeth or spines. Inner subapical edge of protibia without antenna cleaner. Protibial spurs double, or absent. Articulations of protibial spurs located in same plane. Hind legs without swimming hairs. Preapical surfaces of metatibia without ridges or combs. Metatibial articular area not to only moderately expanded, narrowly oval or oblique. Metatibial spurs double, or absent; subequal in length and form.

Abdomen. Number of abdominal ventrites 7, or 8. Number of basal ventrites connate none. Abdominal sternite 2 visible. First ventrite not completely divided by metacoxae. Suture between ventrites 1 and 2 distinct. Suture between ventrites 2 and 3 distinct. Ventrite 4 articulated with or connate with both 3 and 5. Postcoxal lines on ventrite 1 absent. Ventrite 1 not much longer than 2. Ventrite 1 at middle of metacoxa about as long as or longer than ventrite 2. Abdominal process absent. Ventrite 5 in female without circular depression. Posterior edge of ventrite 5 not crenulate. Last visible tergite and-or sternite (7 or 8) not forming terminal spine. Tergite and sternite 7 separated by membrane or distinct suture. Subapical abdominal luminous organ absent, or present. Ventrites without setose patches or foveae. Functional spiracles on abdominal segment 8 present. Functional spiracles on abdominal segment 7 present. Functional spiracles on abdominal segment 6 present. Functional spiracles on abdominal segment 5 present. 7th abdominal spiracles located on sternite. 6th abdominal spiracles located in sternite. 5th abdominal spiracles located in sternite. Anterior edge of sternite 8 in male without median strut. Pygidium (sclerotized tergite 7 or 8) more or less horizontal. Anterior edge of sternite 9 in male without median strut. Tergite 9 in male slightly to moderately emarginate, or deeply emarginate, or completely fused to tergite 10. Tergite 10 in male well developed and free, or partly fused to tergite 9, or completely membranous or fused to tergite 9.

Aedeagus trilobate; symmetrical, or asymmetrical. Anterior edge of tegmen or phallobase without struts. Parameres individually articulated to phallobase or base of penis, or partly or entirely fused together but articulated to phallobase; not outwardly hooked. Penis without dorsal and ventral lobes. Anterior edge of penis without struts.

Illustrations. • Photinus. Photinus perelegans Gorham. Locality: Central America. Reference: Gorham 1881.


The interactive key provides access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, and summaries of attributes within groups of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Lawrence, J.F., Hastings, A.M., Dallwitz, M.J., Paine, T.A., and Zurcher, E.J. 2000 onwards. Elateriformia (Coleoptera): descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval for families and subfamilies. Version: 9th October 2005. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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