Biology of the Firefly Pyractomena Lucifera (Coleoptera: Lampyridae)
AbstractThe firefly Pyractomena lucifera (Melsh.) occurs in fresh water marshes throughout the eastern half of temperate North America. Larvae captured prey both above and below the water surface and dragged it above water to feed. Prey records included: snails (n = 38) (Gastropoda: Pulmonata), freshwater limpets (n = 5) (Gastropoda: Ancylidae), a jumping spider (Salticidae), a damselfly nymph (Odonata) and a leech (Annelida: Hirudinea). Cryptically pigmented pupae were found on emergent vegetation and did not glow when probed. The pupal stage lasted 6.8 days for males and 6.4 days for females. At dusk males flew over the vegetation emitting single flashes (0.2 sec long, 26 @*C) at 2.9-5.1 sec intervals (17-24 @*C). Females answered male flashes with single flashes (ca. 1 sec long) at delays of 0.7-1.5 sec (17-27 @*C). Mated females seldom answered male flashes. Females oviposited when they were 5-6 days old, but 2-4 days after mating. They laid 30-194 eggs (mean = 102) and the number of eggs laid correlated with pupal weight of the female (correlation coefficient = 0.82). Eggs measured 0.8 mm and hatched in 15 days. They became faintly luminescent 2 or 3 days after oviposition and remained luminescent until they hatched. Six predators of this firefly were recorded: wolf spiders (n = 2) (Lycosidae), an orb weaver spider (Argiopidae), a harvestman (Phalangida), a giant water bug (Belostomatidae) and a tree frog (Hyla sp.).
Copyright for any article published in Florida Entomologist is held by the author(s) of the article. Florida Entomologist follows terms of the Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial License (cc by-nc). By submitting and publishing articles in Florida Entomologist, authors grant the FOJ and Florida Entomologist's host institutions permission to make the article available through Internet posting and electronic dissemination, and to otherwise archive the information contained both electronically and in a hard printed version. When used, information and images obtained from articles must be referenced and cited appropriately. Articles may be reproduced for personal, educational, or archival purposes, or any non-commercial use. Permission should be sought from the author(s) for multiple, non-commercial reproduction. Written permission from the author(s) is required for any commercial reproduction.