Cyphonocerus ruficollis, copyright Ishikawa Ken.

Belongs within: Elateroidea.
Contains: Photuris, Lampyrini, Photinini.

The Lampyridae, fireflies, are a group of soft-bodied beetles with luminous organs on the underside of the abdomen. Adult males fly shortly after dusk and flash the light organs to attract mates (Lawrence & Britton 1991). Larvae are predaceous and also luminescent, with larval luminescence perhaps having an aposematic function (Johnson 2002).

Within the Lampyridae, members of the subfamily Luciolinae have six visible abdominal ventrites whereas other subfamilies have six (Johnson 2002).

Characters (from Lawrence & Britton 1991): Elongate, somewhat flattened, soft-bodied; head concealed by explanate pronotum or partly exposed; antennae relatively short, eleven-segmented, filiform; eyes very large in male; mandibles small, curved, falcate, perforate; colour of pronotum primarily yellow, elytra dark brown, usually with basal, lateral and sutural edges yellow; fore coxae projecting, trochantins exposed, fore coxal cavities internally and externally open; mid coxal cavities medially contiguous, laterally open; tarsi pentamerous, fourth tarsal segment bilobed; abdomen with six ventrites, none connate, luminous organs (yellowish white in colour) present on fifth (female) or fifth and sixth (male) ventrites. Larva elongate, tapered at both ends, somewhat flattened, dorsally sclerotised and variously marked, with small, retractable head bearing curved, perforate mandibles, and often with laterally expanded thoracic and abdominal terga; luminous organ on segment 8; segment 9 terminal, 10 reduced and bearing holdfast organ consisting of several eversible, asperate, tubular filaments.

<==Lampyridae [Lampyrides, Telophoridae]
| | i. s.: PyrocoeliaMW15
| | |--P. bicolor (Fabr. 1801) (n. d.) [=Lampyris bicolor, Cratomorphus bicolor]L09
| | `--P. rufaH06
| | VestaKB11
| |--Tenaspis LeConte 1881 [Lamprocerini]L02
| | `--T. angularis (Gorham 1880)L02
| |--PleotominiL02
| | |--Pleotomus LeConte 1861L02
| | | `--P. pallensL02
| | `--Pleotomodes Green 1948L02
| | `--P. knulliL02
| |--CratomorphiniB14
| | |--Cratomorphus Motschulsky 1853SB07
| | | `--C. diaphanus (Germar 1824) [=Lampyris diaphana, Photinus diaphanus]SB07
| | |--Micronaspis Green 1948L02
| | | `--M. floridana Green 1948L02
| | |--Aspisoma Laporte 1833L02
| | | |--A. ignitum (Linnaeus 1767)B14
| | | `--A. physonotumB14
| | `--Pyractomena LeConte 1845L02 [=Pyratomena (l. c.)B51; incl. Lecontea Olivier 1899B51]
| | |--*P. marginata (Linnaeus 1767) [=Lampyris marginata, Photinus marginatus]B51
| | |--P. angulataL02
| | |--P. borealisL02 [=Lampyris borealisB51, *Lecontea borealisB51]
| | |--P. lucifera Melsheimer 1845B51
| | `--‘Pyrectomena’ (l. c. for Pyractomena) vitticollis Motschulsky 1853B51
| |--LampyriniL02
| `--PhotininiSB07
| |--MimophaeopterusKB11
| `--+--Flabellotreta obscuripesKB11
| `--+--Ototretadrilus [Ototretadrilinae]KB11
| `--Drilaster borneensisKB11
`--+--Luciolinae [Luciolini]KB11
| |--Luciola Laporte 1833L02 [incl. Atyphella Olliff 1889LB91, L09]
| | |--L. antennata Oliv. 1885O90
| | |--L. antica Fairmaire 1889F89
| | |--L. australisL09 (see below for synonymy)
| | |--‘Atyphella’ brevis Lea 1909L09
| | |--L. circumdataF89
| | |--L. cowleyi Blackb. 1897L09
| | |--L. dejeani Gemming 1870L09 [incl. Lampyris apicalis (preoc.)L09, Colophotia apicalisB35]
| | |--‘Atyphella’ flammans Olliff 1889L09
| | |--L. flavicollis Macleay 1872M86 (see below for synonymy)
| | |--L. humilis Olivier 1896L09
| | |--L. italicaR13
| | |--L. limbalis Fairmaire 1889F89
| | |--L. lusitanicaRD77
| | |--L. lychnus (Olliff 1889)LB91, L09 [=Atyphella lychnusO90]
| | |--L. olivieriLB91
| | |--L. platygaster Lea 1909L09
| | |--L. pudica Olliff 1889L09
| | |--‘Atyphella’ scintillans Olliff 1889 [incl. Luciola decora Oliv. 1902]L09
| | `--L. striata [=Lampyris striata, Colophotia striata]L09
| |--BourgeoisiaKB11
| `--CurtosKB11
|--Cyphonocerus ruficollisKB11
`--Pollaclasis Newman 1838L02
`--P. bifaria (Say 1835)L02

Lampyridae incertae sedis:
Robopus Motschulsky 1853SB07
`--*R. vittigerus (Gyllenhal in Schönherr 1817) [=Lampyris vittigera, Photinus vittigerus]SB07
Pteroptyx cribellataLB91
Pyrophanes quadrimaculata [incl. P. quadrimaculata var. bimaculata]K64
|--Bicellonycha Motschulsky 1853L02
| `--B. wickershamorum Cicero 1982L02
`--Pterotus LeConte 1859MW15, L02 [Pterotini]
`--P. obscuripennisMW15
|--L. tardusRD77
`--L. tenebrosusK64
Colophotia concolorK64
Brachylampis Van Dyke 1939 [Ototetrinae]L02

Luciola australisL09 [=Lampyris australisL09, Colophotia australisB35; incl. Luciola gueriniL09, Lu. nigripennis (n. n.)L09]

Luciola flavicollis Macleay 1872M86 [incl. L. coarcticollis Oliv. 1888L09, L. flavicollis var. gestroi Olivier 1885L09]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B51] Barber, H. S. 1951. North American fireflies of the genus Photuris. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 117 (1): i–vi, 1–36.

[B35] Boisduval, J. B. 1835. Voyage de Découvertes de l’Astrolabe. Exécuté par ordre du Roi, pendant les années 1826–1827–1828–1829, sous le commandement de M. J. Dumont d’Urville. Faune entomologique de l’océan Pacifique, avec l’illustration des insectes nouveaux recueillis pendant le voyage vol. 2. Coléoptères et autres ordres. J. Tastu: Paris.

[B14] Bouchard, P. (ed.) 2014. The Book of Beetles: A lifesize guide to six hundred of nature’s gems. Ivy Press: Lewes (United Kingdom).

[F89] Fairmaire, L. 1889. Coléoptères de l’intérieur de la Chine. 5e partie. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 6e série 9: 5–84.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[H06] Hassanin, A. 2006. Phylogeny of Arthropoda inferred from mitochondrial sequences: strategies for limiting the misleading effects of multiple changes in pattern and rates of substitution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 38: 100–116.

[K64] Krauss, N. L. H. 1964. Investigations on biological control of giant African (Achatina fulica) and other land snails. Nautilus 78 (1): 21–27.

[KB11] Kundrata, R., & L. Bocak. 2011. The phylogeny and limits of Elateridae (Insecta, Coleoptera): is there a common tendency of click beetles to soft-bodiedness and neoteny? Zoologica Scripta 40: 364–378.

[LB91] Lawrence, J. F., & E. B. Britton. 1991. Coleoptera (beetles). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 543–683. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[L09] Lea, A. M. 1909. Revision of the Australian and Tasmanian Malacodermidae. Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond. 1909 (1): 45–251, pls 2–6.

[L02] Lloyd, J. E. 2002. Lampyridae Latreille 1817. In: Arnett, R. H., Jr, M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley & J. H. Frank (eds) American Beetles vol. 2. Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea pp. 187–196. CRC Press.

[M86] Masters, G. 1886. Catalogue of the described Coleoptera of Australia. Part IV. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (2): 259–380.

[MW15] McKenna, D. D., A. L. Wild, K. Kanda, C. L. Bellamy, R. G. Beutel, M. S. Caterino, C. W. Farnum, D. C. Hawks, M. A. Ivie, M. L. Jameson, R. A. B. Leschen, A. E. Marvaldi, J. V. McHugh, A. F. Newton, J. A. Robertson, M. K. Thayer, M. F. Whiting, J. F. Lawrence, A. Ślipiński, D. R. Maddison & B. D. Farrell. 2015. The beetle tree of life reveals that Coleoptera survived end-Permian mass extinction to diversify during the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution. Systematic Entomology 40 (4): 835–880.

[O90] Olliff, A. S. 1890. New species of Lampyridae, including a notice of the Mt. Wilson fire-fly. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 4 (3): 643–653.

[R13] Reuter, O. M. 1913. Lebensgewohnheiten und Instinkte der Insekten bis zum Erwachen der sozialen Instinkte. R. Friedländer & Sohn: Berlin.

[RD77] Richards, O. W., & R. G. Davies. 1977. Imms’ General Textbook of Entomology 10th ed. vol. 2. Classification and Biology. Chapman and Hall: London.

[SB07] Svenson, G. J., & M. A. Branham. 2007. Photinini LeConte, 1881 (Insecta, Coleoptera) and Photininae Giglio-Tos, 1915 (Insecta, Mantodea): proposed resolution of homonymy between family-group names. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 64 (4): 243–251.

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