Zonitis vittigera

Blister Beetle
Zonitis vittigera

Blister Beetle Zonitis vittigera on Black-eyed Susan. Wheatley, Ont. July 12, 2009.
Blister Beetle Zonitis vittigera on Black-eyed Susan. Wheatley, Ont. July 12, 2009.

Identification:
Head: Slightly shiny, triangular, reddish-orange. Eyes indented (emarginate) near antenna bases. Mandibles reddish-orange with black tips. Tongue (galae) almost as long as antenna. Whiskers (palpi) black, not considered long.
Antenna: Antenna black, long reaching past base of wings (elytra). 11 segments, segment 2 short.
Thorax: Slightly shiny, squarish, reddish-orange. Slightly wider than head.

Blister Beetle Zonitis vittigera on Black-eyed Susan. Wheatley, Ont. June 29, 2012.
Blister Beetle Zonitis vittigera on Black-eyed Susan. Wheatley, Ont. June 29, 2012.

Wings (Elytra): Reddish-orange with a wide black stripe down each wing, sometimes very faint to absent. Wings cover entire abdomen. V-shaped area at center of base of wings (scutellum) orange-red, puffy or inflated.
Legs: Thighs (femora) reddish-orange with black tips. Rest of legs black.
Abdomen: Entirely reddish-orange, shiny, hairy. Tip with tuft of dark yellowish hair.

Similar Species: Only one other Zonitis in Ontario, Z. bilineata has whitish-tan wings (elytra) with or without dark stripe and yellow feet.

Size: 8 to 11 mm.

Habitat: Meadows, forest edges.

Food: Adults feed on flower nectar, prefers Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta. Also other flowers in the Aster family like Goldenrod Solidago and Sunflowers Helianthus.

Flight Time: Late June to early August.

Life Cycle: Eggs are laid on flowers. When larva hatch, they attach themselves to bees, eventually taken back to the nest where they feed on the stored food for the bee larvae. The beetle larvae over-winter, and pupate the next summer.

Comments: Although not common, and present from south-western Ontario to Toronto (BugGuide), this beetle is not listed for Ontario. It was recorded in 1944 by Hicks at Ojibway Prairies, Windsor, and considered the first record for all of Canada, but has never been recognized. Ojibway does list Zonitis bilineata. Photographed in Wheatley, Ontario since 2009, always on Black-eyed Susan.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Photinus sabulosus

Firefly
Photinus sabulosus

 

 

Identification:
Head: Black. Male has larger eyes than female.
Antenna: Black.
Thorax (Pronotum): Semi-circular, hind margin straight across. Center black mark tear-drop shaped, wider near front tip (base), narrowing and not touching hind border. The spot may be glass-like (vittiform or vitriform) sometimes appearing brownish or barely visible. Rose or pinkish-red stripe each side of black mark, only on lower half of thorax and not touching hind margin. Very pale yellow translucent outside border is narrower at front tip and widest at outside hind margin and extends narrowly across hind margin.

Firefly Photinus sabulosus on Butternut leaf. July 06, 2014, Wheatley, Ontario.
Firefly Photinus sabulosus on Butternut leaf. July 06, 2014, Wheatley, Ontario.

Wings (Elytra): Long, slightly narrow; dark brown to black. Very pale gold border on outside edge is wide; inner wing gold edge (suture) is narrow. Center base of wings (scutellum) is black with a pale golden tip.
Legs: Black, sometimes with light covering of pale pile on shins (tibiae).
Abdomen: Brownish-black. Male underside segments 1 to 4 brownish-black, mottled. Last 2 segments before tip larger, yellowish (light organs). Tip brown with pale sides, raised at center (tent-like). Very short pale flash. Female underside segments 1 to 4 brownish-black. Last 2 segments before tip are yellowish (segment 5 not a light organ) with brown at each side edge. Tip rounded, black. Pale short flash.

Size: 6 to 7.5 mm.

Firefly Photinus sabulosus on underside of Dogwood leaf, just below Mulberry. July 25, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.
Firefly Photinus sabulosus on underside of Dogwood leaf, just below Mulberry. July 25, 2017, Leamington, Ontario.

Habitat: Sandy soil, sides of gravel (sabulosus) creeks.

Food: Adults apparently do not feed, but often found in Mulberry trees and the Silk Tree (Mimosa). In Mulberry in Leamington.

Flight Time: July

Life Cycle: Unknown. Larvae probably feed underground on worms, like other Photinus.

Comments: Essex County per photos. Found by Luk west end of Lake Ontario. Also in Ohio, but not Michigan.

Synonyms: Green 1956
None

References:
Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 1953-56, Vol. 28 by Green, pp. 579 to 580.
Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification, 2011 #16: Fireflies by Luk et al., pp. 35 to 52.
Fireflies, Glow-worms and Lightning Bugs 2017 by Faust, pp. 175 to 176.

Types:
Holotype as Photinus sabulosus male by Green, 1956. Type Locality: Baltimore, Maryland. In the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California. No photos.
Paratype from Athens, Ohio.

 

Photinus pyralis

The Big Dipper Firefly
Photinus pyralis

 

The Big Dipper Photinus pyralis on Queen Anne's Lace. July 08, 2014, Wheatley, Ontario.
The Big Dipper Photinus pyralis on Queen Anne’s Lace. July 08, 2014, Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black, mouth dull reddish. Male has large eyes than female.
Antenna: Black, segments (11) slightly flattened. Tips of segments with faint white. Segment 2 very short.
Thorax (Pronotum): Somewhat triangular to semi-circular with front tip (base) squared. Black center spot, almost round with flattened front, widely surrounded on three sides by rose (reddish-orange) and at front (base) by yellow. Main ID: Black round spot does not extend to any border or edge.  Rest of pronotum yellowish, the yellowish somewhat translucent and may be slightly rose on front half (base). Underside mostly rose with some white.

Wings (Elytra): Oblong, blackish-brown, with uniform width golden margins. Center base of wings (scutellum) triangular, golden.
Legs: Thighs (femora) yellowish-brown, tips dark. Rest of legs brown.
Abdomen: Black on top side, lower margin of segments with yellowish-white line, more so on male. Underside of male segments 1 to 4 brown, side edges white. Segments 5 and 6 yellowish-white – flashes J-shaped yellow.
Underside of  female segments 1 to 4 brown; each segment has yellowish-white line on lower margin. Segment 5 yellowish-white (light organ), base sometimes has dark streaks. Segment 6 and tip golden brown.

Similar Species: Some of the darker Photinus marginellus may appear as faded P. pyralis, but the black spot at center is never as large or dark on P. marginellus.

Size: 10 to 14 mm.

Habitat: Meadows to urban gardens, parks and woods.

Food: Adults found on Queen Anne’s Lace and Trumpet Vine.

The Big Dipper Photinus pyralis male feed on Trumpet Vine flower. July 09, 2013, Wheatley, Ontario.
The Big Dipper Photinus pyralis male feed on Trumpet Vine flower. July 09, 2013, Wheatley, Ontario.

Flight Time: Early July to early August.

Life Cycle: Males emit long, distinctive J-shaped flash at dusk. Females respond with a flash, then mating takes place. Females lay eggs on or in the ground. Larvae live underground and feed on earthworms and other smaller insects. Adults tolerate light pollution, and come to lights at night; during the day they stay exposed on flowers, and man-made structures. Adults use

‘reflex bleeding’, oozing fluid when disturbed or threatened. These defensive poisons attract the female Pennsylvanica Firefly Photuris pennsylvanica. She needs these chemicals for egg development and preys upon the Big Dipper males by copying flashes of their females. When the male lands, the  Pennsylvanica female consumes the Big Dipper male and the chemicals.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies 2005 and 2008 list of insects. Luk reported Photinus pyralis as new to Ojibway in 2010. Wheatley, 2013 and 2014 per photos.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page<!–nextpage–>

Synonyms: Linnaeus 1767
Lampyris pyralis, Lampyris rosata, Lampyris centrata, Photinus benignus

References:
Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1825-27, Vol. 5 by Say, pg. 163.
Additions et Corrections a la Faune Coleopterologique Quebec, 1877 by Provancher, pg. 16.
California Academy of Sciences, 1953-56, Vol. 28 by Green, pp. 582 to 583.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1881-82, Vol. 9 by LeConte, pg. 35.
Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification, 2011 #16 Fireflies by Luk et al., pg. 51.
Beetles of Eastern North America, 2014 by Evans, pg. 236.
Ecology of Center City, Philadelphia, 2015, Chapter 12: Common Eastern Firefly by Frank, pp. 128 to 131.
Fireflies, Glow-worms and Lightning Bugs, 2017 by Faust, pg. 166.

Types:
Holotype as Photinus benignus male by LeConte, 1881. Type Locality: Dallas, Texas. In the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Type #2792. Photos.

Photinus marginellus

Pale Firefly
Photinus marginellus

 

White Firefly Photinus marginellus on grape leaf. July 26, 2014, Wheatley, Ontario.
White Firefly Photinus marginellus on grape leaf. July 26, 2014, Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black; male eyes larger than female eyes.
Antenna: Brownish-black. Segments have faint white tip. 11 segments on both male and female. Segment 2 short.
Thorax (Pronotum): Center of thorax has a squarish, entirely rose or pinkish patch; seldom with a very small, obscure brown spot in middle of the rose. Rest of thorax yellow to white, somewhat translucent, surrounding the rose square on three sides. Lower margin may have a thin yellow to white line below the rose square, or rose square may extend to margin.

White Firefly Photinus marginellus on Tuliptree leaf. July 17, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.
White Firefly Photinus marginellus on Tuliptree leaf. July 17, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.

Wings (Elytra): Long, white to light gray with wide golden margin on outside wing edges; inner wing margin (suture) somewhat narrower. Sometimes wings have a few random black dots. Often the dark brown ‘real’ wings protrude past wing covers (elytra). Center of base of wings (scutellum) light reddish-brown, tip yellowish.
Note: both color forms are present in southwestern Ontario.
Legs: Thighs (femora) yellowish-brown, tips dark on darker individuals. Thighs whitish on white individuals. Rest of legs brownish-black on both color forms.

Abdomen:  Male top side has segments brown with white line on hind margin. Tip yellow. Female top side unknown.
Underside of male has segments 1 to 3 brown, segment 4 pale brownish, mottled, 5 and 6 whitish yellow (light organs). Tip pale yellowish-whitish.
Underside of female has segments brown, except light organ on middle of 5th segment. Tip brownish-yellow.

Similar Species: Some of the darker Photinus marginellus may appear as faded P. pyralis, but the black spot at center is never as large or dark on P. marginellus as it is on P. pyralis.

Size: 6.5 to 9 mm – both same size.

Habitat: Forests and meadows.

Food: Unknown

Flight Time: Late June to end of July

Life Cycle: Unknown. Preyed upon by Photuris pennsylvanica females.

Comments: One found in Welland, Niagara Peninsula. Wheatley, per photos 2006 to 2014.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Photinus indictus

Firefly
Photinus indictus

 

Firefly Photinus indictus female July 12, 2006. Wheatley, Ontario.
Firefly Photinus indictus female July 12, 2006. Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black. Both male and female have small eyes.
Antenna: Black. Tip of each segment whitish. Male has first 3 or 4 segments wider than the female. 11 segments on both male and female. Segment 2 short.
Thorax (Pronotum): Semi-circular, hind margin slightly indented at center. Central black rectangle has mottled black stripe extending only across the rose along hind border. Black may bleed slightly into yellow at front tip (base). Rose or reddish-orange stripe each side of black area. Outside borders translucent yellow.

Firefly Photinus indictus male June 17, 2011. Wheatley, Ontario.
Firefly Photinus indictus male June 17, 2011. Wheatley, Ontario.

Wings (Elytra): Black with slightly wider golden outer border. Inner wing border (suture) narrow gold. Center of base of wings (scutellum) large, black.
Legs: Brownish-black with brownish-yellow pile. Sometimes on thighs (femora) pile in a line on each side. Foot pads (underside) yellow.
Abdomen: Black with lower margin and side edges of each segment pale. No light organs on either male or female. Tip black, outlined with pale yellowish to white. Male tip square, female tip pointed. Non-flashing.

Size: 6 to 8 mm.

Habitat: Meadows, field edges. Prefers tall grasses.

Food: Adults apparently do not feed.

Flight Time: Mid-June to mid-July.

Life Cycle: Unknown. Larvae probably live underground, coming to surface to feed on earthworms, slugs and snails as other Photinus.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park and Ojibway Prairies. Guelph to Hamilton area and Quebec.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Photinus consimilis

Firefly
Photinus consimilis

Identification:
Head: Black. Males have larger eyes than females. Mouth area brownish-yellow.
Antenna: Black; tip of each segment has faint white line. 11 segments on both male and female. Segment 2 short.
Thorax (Pronotum): Semi-circular. Hind margin nearly straight. Main ID: Dark rectangle down center of thorax, sides straight, extends but does not widen at hind margin. Rose, reddish-orange to pink stripes each side of black central rectangle are bright and not obscured with any other colour (no bleeding). Outside margins are pale translucent yellow, the yellow widest near hind margin outside corners. Sometimes the very outside edge with have faint, vague brownish lines or smudges, more so around front tip (base).

Firefly Photinus consimilis June 19, 2013. Wheatley, Ontario.
Firefly Photinus consimilis June 19, 2013. Wheatley, Ontario.

Wings (Elytra): Black to dark brown-black; fairly long on both male and female. Golden stripe around wings, wider on outside edge. One raised, slanted ridge on each wing from shoulder to past mid-wing, angles in to inner wing margin (suture). Center of base of wings (scutellum) dark.
Legs: Black. Sometimes with golden pile. Foot pads (underside) yellow.
Abdomen: Top side entirely black, except female tip yellow. Male underside has last 2 segments pale (light organs) before dark tip. Flash pulses are amber.
Female underside has 2nd last segment pale (light organ) in center, sides brown. Sides and lower margin of last two segments have a yellowish line; tip rounded, pale. Double flash amber.

Size: 8 to 13 mm.

Habitat: Wet forests, marshes, streams.

Food: Unknown.

Flight Time: Mid-June to end of July.

Life Cycle: Unknown. Larvae are probably sub-terrain and feed on earthworms and smaller insects.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park. Wheatley per photos.

Synonyms: Green 1956
None

References:
Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 1953-56, Vol. 28 by Green, pp. 606 to 609.
Checklist and Keys to Fireflies Alabama, 1990 by Lloyd, pg. 19.
Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification, 2011, #16 Fireflies by Luk, et al., pp. 38 to  45.
Fireflies, Glow-worms and Lightning Bugs, 2017 by Faust, pp. 132 to 135.

Types:
Holotype as Photinus consimilis male by Green, 1956. Type Locality: Roaring River State Park, In California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. Type #07677. No photo.
Paratype at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. No photo.

 

Pyropyga decipiens

Firefly
Pyropyga decipiens

 

 

Firefly Pyropyga decipiens on underside of Joe-Pye Weed with Red Velvet Mite. July 17, 2011. Wheatley, Ontario.
Firefly Pyropyga decipiens on underside of Joe-Pye Weed with Red Velvet Mite. July 17, 2011. Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black.
Antenna: Black, wide and flattened. Segment 2 very short.
Thorax (Pronotum): Almost semi-circular. Middle has a shiny, black stripe, very wide and extends to both front tip and widens at hind border. Each side of the black stripe has a rose patch. Outside edge, except the front tip (black) has a narrow, translucent yellow border.

Firefly Pyropyga decipiens on underside of Milkweed leaf Jun 22, 2011. Wheatley, Ontario.
Firefly Pyropyga decipiens on underside of Milkweed leaf Jun 22, 2011. Wheatley, Ontario.

Wings (Elytra): Entirely black. Each wing has a slight ridge or raised line down length of wing.
Legs: Entirely black.
Abdomen: Entirely black. No light organs. Non-flashing.

Similar Species: Pyropyga nigricans has black outside border on the thorax.

Size: 4.5 to 7 mm

Habitat: Prefers open areas like meadows and fields.

Food: Adults found feeding on Milkweed, Trumpet Vine and Cup Plant flowers in Wheatley.

Flight Time: Mid-June to mid-September

Life Cycle: Unknown. Larvae will feed on earthworms and gastropods in the lab. Dillon and Dillon (1961) report all Pyropyga, both adult and larvae, feed on other insects. Other entomologists have assumed one generation per year, overwintering as larvae. Recorded in Wheatley mating in June, July and again in mid-September.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies, 2011 per Luk. Wheatley per photos from 2004 to 2014.

Synonyms: Harris, 1836
Lampyris decipiens

References:
Transactions of the Natural History Society of Hartford, 1836 by Harris, pp. 74 to 75.
Beetles of Indiana 1910 by Blatchley, pp. 819 to 820.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1918, Vol. 44 by Green, pp. 251 to 252.
The Coleopterists Bulletin 1961, Vol. 15 #3 by Green, pp. 66 to 72.
Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification, 2011 #16 Fireflies by Luk et al., pp. 76 to 78.

Types: Unknown