Antenna: Black, flattened, knife-like (serrated). Segment 2 is extremely short, barely visible. 11 segments on both male and female.
Thorax (Pronotum): Triangular, front (base) extended, slightly rounded at tip. Center has wide black stripe, narrowing to front edge. Sides yellow with small rose to red blotch inward from the yellow.
Wings (Elytra): Dull black with 4 to 5 faint, raised lines (barely visible). Female larger than male.
Legs: Black, foot pads on underside whitish.
Abdomen: Black, segments wider at lower margin, appears knife-like (serrated). Faint yellow spot on last segment of female; yellow spots on last 2 segments of male. Does not flash, no light organs.
Exactly like Pyropyga decipiens, except larger and has a “V” shaped pronotum whereas P. decipiens has a “U” shaped, or much more rounded pronotum. Border of pronotum is yellow on L. atra, translucent yellow on P. decipiens. Antenna on P. decipiens segment 2 is longer, visible.
Lucidota punctata is very small (6 mm) and has black along sides and lower margin of thorax (pronotum).
Size: 8 to 11 mm. Larva 13 to 15 mm.
Habitat: Forests, marshes with trees.
Food: Adults eat nectar from Milkweed, Queen Anne’s Lace
Flight Time: June to mid-August.
Life Cycle: Females lay eggs in rotting wood and stumps. Larvae produce light (as all fireflies do). Larvae over-winter.
Parasite: Scuttle Fly Apocephalus antennatus and Red Velvet Mite Parasitenogna species per photos.
Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Widespread in Ontario.
For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page