Elateriformia (Coleoptera) Larvae

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

LAMPYRIDAE

Polyphaga: Elateriformia.

Lampyridae are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions, but are much less common in cool temperate areas.

Lampyrid larvae usually occur in mesic environments, where they are found under rocks, in leaf litter, in vegetation bordering streams and ponds and in rotten logs. All larvae are predacious, feeding on gastropods, earthworms and other soft-bodied invertebrates. Prey is paralalyzed by secretions produced by glands attached to the alimentary canal and ejected through the perforate mandibles; digestion takes place extra-orally and only liquids are imbibed.

References

Böving, A. G. and Craighead, F. C. (1931). An illustrated synopsis of the principal larval forms of the order Coleoptera. Entomologica Americana (New Series) 1: 1–351, 125 pls.

Costa, C., Vanin, S. A. and Casari-Chen, S. A. (1988). Larvas de Coleoptera do Brasil, vi + 282 pp. Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de Sao Paulo: Sao Paulo.

LaBella, D. M. and Lloyd, J. E. (1991). Lampyridae (Cantharoidea). Pp. 427–428 in Stehr, F. W. (ed.), Immature Insects. Vol. II. Kendall Hunt: Dubuque, Iowa.

Body. Length less than 3 mm to more than 15 mm. Body not broadly ovate and strongly flattened; relatively straight or only slightly curved ventrally; slightly flattened, or strongly flattened; body, as viewed from above elongate and more or less parallel-sided. Vestiture consisting of fine hairs or setae only. Dorsal surfaces more or less heavily pigmented or sclerotized; generally smooth. Ventral surfaces very lightly pigmented.

Head. Head prognathous or slightly declined; strongly retracted; not concealed from above by prothorax; narrower than thorax; not forming sclerotized, serrate, wedge-like plate. Head capsule not strongly depressed and wedge-like anteriorly; posterior edge of head capsule distinctly emarginate. Median epicranial region without longitudinal furrow. Epicranial stem absent or very short, or moderately long; straight, not bent to the left. Frontal arms present; V-shaped or U-shaped; not joined anteriorly by transverse line; bases of frontal arms contiguous. Median endocarina absent or coincident with epicranial stem. Paired endocarinae absent or coincident with frontal arms. Number of stemmata one. Number of antennal segments three. Ratio of antennal length to head width more than 0.50. Sensorium(a) on preapical antennal segment present; shorter than apical segment, or as long as or longer than apical segment. Sensorium(a) on preapical (or apical) antennal segment dome-like. Apex of preapical antennal segment truncate, so that sensorium and apical segment arise together. Antennal base without eversible membranous lobe. Frontoclypeal suture absent or vaguely indicated. Labrum completely fused to head capsule (suture absent); without crenulate emargination. Epipharyngeal rods absent. Mouthparts not forming sucking tube. Mandibles symmetrical; opposable, at least slightly curving mesally at apex; not approximate, diverging and longitudinally divided; narrow and falcate; with internal perforation. Apex of mandible narrow when viewed from in front (parallel or oblique to plane of movement); with single lobe or tooth. Accessory ventral process of mandible absent. Incisor edge of mandible simple, or with 1 or 2 heavily sclerotized retinacula. Mesal surface of mandibular base with brush of hairs or spines. Mandibular mola absent. Ventral mouthparts retracted. Cardo distinct and sclerotized; undivided; strongly oblique or longitudinal. Cardines or maxillary bases separated from each other by labium. Stipes longer than wide. Maxillary articulating area absent. Maxilla with single, articulated mala. Mala or galea 2-segmented. Apex of mala simple, not cleft; or galea rounded or truncate; or galea setose or spinose. Inner apical angle of mala simple. Number of segments in maxillary palp three, or four. First segment of maxillary palp without digitiform appendage. Labium consisting of prementum and postmentum. Mentum, postmentum or labial plate completely free or basally connate with maxillae. Postmentum or labial plate subquadrate or trapezoidal, with blunt posterior edge. Postmentum or labial plate not divided longitudinally. Ligula absent. Number of segments in labial palp two. Labial palps separated by more than width of first palp segment. Hypopharyngeal bracon present. Hypopharyngeal sclerome absent. Hypostomal region present (separating labium from thorax). Hypostomal rods present (1 pair); very short; converging posteriorly. Ventral epicranial ridges absent, or present. Gula wider than long; gular sutures separate. Gula or gular region separated from labium by suture. Occipital foramen not divided by tentorial bridge.

Thorax. Prothorax not or only slightly wider than abdomen; not longer than meso- and metathorax combined. Thoracic terga without patches of asperities; without rows of asperities or carinae. Protergum with 1 or more sclerotized plates. Meso- and metaterga with 1 or more sclerotized plates. Thorax without well-developed lateral tergal processes, or with well-developed lateral tergal processes. Prosternum without armature. Mesocoxae or coxal lobes separated by more than 2 basal coxal diameters. Thoracic legs articulated. Number of segments in mesothoracic leg five including pretarsus (claw). Number of segments in mesothoracic leg five or fewer including pretarsus (claw). Legs not highly reduced, more than 0.2 times as long as head width. Metathoracic leg about same size as mesothoracic leg. Meso- and metathoracic legs not forming stridulatory organ. Apical segment of leg acute and claw-like (or consisting of 2 claws). Number of movable pretarsal claws one. Number of setae on pretarsus two. Pretarsal setae lying side by side or obliquely situated. Thoracic spiracles biforous or bilabiate; not placed at ends of spiracular tubes.

Abdomen. Ratio of length of abdomen (without appendages) to length of thorax more than 2.0. Number of visible abdominal segments ten. Abdominal terga not extending laterally beyond edges of sterna; without patches of asperities; without rows of asperities. Abdomen without well-developed lateral processes, or with 1 pair of lateral processes on most segments. Abdominal tergum 3 without transverse dorsal folds or lobes; simple, not divided into transverse dorsal folds or lobes. Paired abdominal glands (openings or porous plates) absent. Dorsal, balloon-like tracheal gills absent. Long and narrow, lateral gills absent. Abdominal sterna without patches of asperities; without rows of asperities. Paired ventral prolegs (or asperity-bearing ampullae) absent. Ventral abdominal gill tufts absent. Abdominal tergum 8 without special armature. Abdominal apex without respiratory chamber. Abdominal segment 9 excluding appendages shorter than segment 8. Abdominal tergum 9 not forming articulated plate; extending onto ventral surface; without paired processes or urogomphi; without median process or terminal disc. Abdominal sternum 9 partly or entirely exposed; simple or apparently absent; not enclosed by sternum 8. Abdominal apex without hinged operculum. Abdominal segment 10 without oval lobes separated by longitudinal groove; concealed from above, sometimes membranous or more or less fused to segment 9, or distinct and visible from above; with several asperated, tubular, protrusible holdfast organs. Paired pygopods on segment 10 absent. Anal region posteriorly or terminally oriented, or posteroventrally oriented. Anal gill tufts absent. Anal hooks absent. Anterior abdominal spiracles biforous or bilabiate. Abdominal spiracles not placed at ends of spiracular tubes. Eighth abdominal spiracles functional and about the same size as others on abdomen; abdominal spiracle 8 lateral or dorsolateral, facing laterally.

Illustrations. • Luciola.


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. 1995 onwards. Elateriformia (Coleoptera) larvae: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval for families and subfamilies. Version: 9th October 2005. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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