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Family Identification - Lampyridae
ENY 3005 Family Identification
Common name: lightningbugs, fireflies
Identifying characteristics for the family Lampyridae include:
First abdominal sternite entire, not divided by hind coxae (suborder
Elongate, softbodied beetles, 4.5 - 20 mm in length.
Head concealed from above by flattened pronotum (cf Cantharidae).
Last 2 or 3 abdominal sterna often luminous.
Adults well known for their flashing, an important part of their courtship
Larvae are carnivorous, feeding on other insects, snails, and slugs.
There are 23 genera and about 200 species of Lampyridae in North America.
Pages 162-163 in D. J. Borror and R. E. White. 1970. A Field Guide to the
Insects. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Pages 188-190 in R. E. White. 1983. A Field Guide to Beetles of North America.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 368 p.
Page 432 in D. J. Borror, C. A. Tripplehorn, and N. F. Johnson. An Introduction
to the Study of Insects, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders College Publishing.
Page 206 in R. G. Bland and H. E. Jaques. 1978. How to Know the Insects,
3rd ed. Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Co. 409 p.
Links to other Coleoptera taxa: Cicindelidae,
Links to other web sites
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A special thank you to Jim Lloyd for providing these two beautiful
Prepared by John L. Foltz.
Last update: 6 May 1998.
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