Pyractomena angulata

Say’s Firefly
Pyractomena angulata

 

Firefly Pyractomena angulata feeding on Milkweed flower July 03, 2009. Wheatley, Ontario.
Firefly Pyractomena angulata feeding on Milkweed flower July 03, 2009. Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black, sometimes with dull reddish-orange between eyes.
Antenna: Black, thin; 11 segments on both male and female. 1st segment yellowish.
Thorax (Pronotum): Wide, shield-shaped, tip squared; ridge or raised line down middle of thorax; from mid-thorax to tip (front end) it slopes downward (more visible from side view).
Thorax has black middle patch, narrowing to a point at front tip; on each side of black mostly yellow with rose patch next to the middle black patch. Outside edges have a black stripe than narrows to a point at or very near to lower margin. Underside of thorax rose (orangish-red).

Firefly Pyractomena angulata feeding on Sumac flower June 20, 2008. Wheatley, Ontario.
Firefly Pyractomena angulata feeding on Sumac flower June 20, 2008. Wheatley, Ontario.

Wings (Elytra): Blackish-brown. Outside margins yellow, very wide at base and along side edges, narrowing at tip and narrow yellow along inside of each wing (suture down middle of wings). Wings also have two faint ridges, sometimes slightly lighter colour. At middle of base margin, a small, shiny black triangle (scutellum).
Legs: Thighs (femora) yellowish at base, rest black. Shins streaked with yellowish. Feet black.
Abdomen: Top side has pinkish-brown streak inward on each side, running the length of the abdomen. Segments are white tipped on lower margin outside edge. Female tip usually extends past wing tips. Underside of female more yellowish-black, with a yellow line on lower margin of each segment; last segment before tip yellow – flashes amber. Underside of male black with last 2 segments before tip yellow – flashes amber.

Firefly Pyractomena angulata gravid female Jun 25, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.
Firefly Pyractomena angulata gravid female Jun 25, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.

Size: 7.5 to 14 mm.

Habitat: Wet forests and marshy areas.

Food: Adults have been recorded as not feeding, but found feeding on Milkweed, Sumac, Dogwood, Yarrow and even Astilbe (non-native) flowers in Wheatley, Ontario.

Flight Time: June to early July

Firefly Pyractomena angulata mating. June 25, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.
Firefly Pyractomena angulata mating. June 25, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.

Life Cycle: Although recorded as nocturnal, frequently observed and mating during the day. Mating from late June to early July. Larvae reported to feed on snails and slugs (gastropods).

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park recorded by Luk, 2011. Wheatley photos from 2006 to 2015. Kent County – not recorded. Rondeau Provincial Park photos from 2009.

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

Photuris pennsylvanica

Pennsylvania Firefly
Photuris pensylvanica

 

Pennsylvanica Firefly Photuris pennsylvanica July 17, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.
Pennsylvanica Firefly Photuris pennsylvanica July 17, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification: The Pennsylvania Firefly, our largest, is the only Photuris in Ontario, extending north to Thunder Bay.

Head: Dull yellow with huge eyes. Area at back of head reddish-brown.
Antenna: Long, black, striped. Base of each segment white. 11 segments on both male and female.
Thorax (Pronotum): Triangular, front tip (base) rounded. Center has a round red spot with a black stripe (wider at each end) through the middle of red spot. Black stripe extends the length of the thorax. Rest of thorax yellow. Slightly covered with yellowish pile or very short hair.

Pennsylvanica Firefly Photuris pennsylvanica July 17, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.
Pennsylvanica Firefly Photuris pennsylvanica July 17, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.

Wings (Elytra): Dark brown with wide gold border on outside edge, narrowing at tip and continuing up inside edge of wings (suture). Each wing has a golden stripe from base to about mid wing, often very faint. Center of base of wings (scutellum) has a golden triangle.
Legs: Long and thick. Thighs (femora) yellow with a wide brown ring nearer tip. Shins (tibiae) have yellow base, rest brown. Feet dark, base of each segment yellow.

Pennsylvanica Firefly Photuris pennsylvanica July 17, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.
Pennsylvanica Firefly Photuris pennsylvanica July 17, 2011, Wheatley, Ontario.

Abdomen: Black. Male underside has two yellow segments (light organs) before golden tip. Flashes green.

Size: 15 to 20 mm long – our largest firefly.

Habitat: Wet forests, marshes; resting on leaves of Tuliptree, Sycamore and Sumac.

Food: Predators of other fireflies.

Flight Time: Mid-June to end of July

Pennsylvanica Firefly Photuris pennsylvanica July 05, 2015, Wheatley, Ontario.
Pennsylvanica Firefly Photuris pennsylvanica July 05, 2015, Wheatley, Ontario.

Life Cycle: Little is known of mating habits, but assumed they mate high up in trees. Gravid females can mimic the flash patterns of Photinus females, luring the Photinus males to them. The males are then killed and eaten. They also prey on Pyractomena species. Eggs are laid in loose, well-drained, loamy soil. Larvae stay underground during the day, and use tunnels to the surface only at night to hunt, preferring slugs and snails and other small insects; also grapes. Both larvae and adults flash green.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park and Ojibway Prairies. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. A common species extending up to Thunder Bay on Lake Superior.

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

Lucidota punctata

Black Firefly
Lucidota punctata

 

Firefly Lucidota punctata male (lobed abdomen tip) June 22, 2009 at Rondeau Provincial Park, Blenheim, Ontario.
Firefly Lucidota punctata male (lobed abdomen tip) June 22, 2009 at Rondeau Provincial Park, Blenheim, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black.
Antenna: Black, flattened, knife-like (serrate). Segment 2 extremely short, barely visible. 11 segments on both male and female.
Thorax (Pronotum): Triangular, front extended, more rounded at tip. Center has wide black stripe, slightly narrowing at front (base) and extending fully across hind border. Outside edge beyond black border usually yellow, with a very small rose to reddish blotch inward from the yellow. Sometimes the yellow border is entirely black.
Wings (Elytra): Dull black, rough (coarsely punctured) no ridges.
Legs: Black.
Abdomen: Black, narrow. Last 4 segments of the male dark brownish-yellow on underside; tip lobed. Non-flashing.

Similar Species: Similar to Lucidota atra, but much smaller, thorax blacker.

Size: 5.5 to 6 mm.

Habitat: Wet forests and meadows. Usually near water.

Food: Unknown

Flight time: June

Life Cycle: Day-flying, without light organs. Adults ‘bleed’ fluid from abdomen sides and legs if disturbed. Life-cycle unknown. Larvae probably feed on smaller insects as other Lucidota species.

Comments: Essex County – listed on Ojibway species list for 2005, but not 2008. However, 10 specimens were found by Luk, et al. from collecting by malaise traps in Essex & Kent counties. No exact locations given.
Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park – 1 photo.

Synonyms: LeConte, 1852
Lucernuta punctata

References:
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1850-51, Vol. 5 by LeConte, pg. 333.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1881-82, Vol. 9 by LeConte, pg. 31.
Beetles of Indiana 1910 by Blatchley, pg. 818.
Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification, 2011 #16 Fireflies by Luk et al, pp. 82 to 83.

Types:
Holotype as Lucernuta punctata male by LeConte, 1851. Type Locality: Habersham County, Georgia. In the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Type #2771. Photos.

 

 

Lucidota atra

Black Firefly
Lucidota atra

Black Firefly Lucidota atra June 21, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.
Black Firefly Lucidota atra June 21, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black.
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.

Black Firefly Lucidota atra with attached Red Velvet Mite on Milkweed flower Jun 22, 2012. Wheatley, Ontario.
Black Firefly Lucidota atra with attached Red Velvet Mite on Milkweed flower Jun 22, 2012. Wheatley, Ontario.

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.

Similar Species:
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).

Black Fireflies Lucidota atra mating July 18, 2009. Wheatley, Ontario.
Black Fireflies Lucidota atra mating July 18, 2009. Wheatley, Ontario.

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.

Black Firefly Lucidota atra larva found under bark of old log. March 21, 2012. Wheatley, Ontario.
Black Firefly Lucidota atra larva found under bark of old log. March 21, 2012. Wheatley, Ontario.

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

Ellychnia corrusca

Winter Firefly
Ellychnia corrusca

e-LICK- nee-a  cor-ROOs-caw

Winter Firefly Ellychnia corrusca eating a lichen May 06, 2004 at Kopengaron Woods, Leamington, Ontario.
Winter Firefly Ellychnia corrusca eating a lichen May 06, 2004 at Kopengaron Woods, Leamington, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black with small eyes, lower face long.
Antenna: Black, slightly hairy (11 segments). Segment 2 is shorter than all others.
Thorax (Pronotum): Black, semi-circular. Round central black area narrows and extends to front tip (base). On each side of the center black area, a rose-colored, slightly curved stripe (often called a comma) extends entire length of thorax. Outside edge of thorax black. Sometimes the thorax is more brown than black, and the comma with more yellow mixed in.

Winter Firefly Ellychnia corrusca May 23, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.
Winter Firefly Ellychnia corrusca May 23, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.

Wings: (Elytra): Oblong, brownish-black with some golden hairs. 3 to 4 faint ridges running down each wing. Some individuals have light brown wings.
Legs: Entirely black, pads under feet yellowish to whitish.
Abdomen: Entirely black – no light organs.

Size: 10 to 18 mm. Largest firefly.

Habitat: Wet forests with marshy areas.

Food: Adults feed on lichens, Maple sap and  maple flower buds.

Flight Time: Early April to June; again in September.

Winter Fireflies Ellychnia corrusca mating on leaf, Jun 20, 2001 Celista B.C.
Winter Fireflies Ellychnia corrusca mating on leaf, Jun 20, 2001 Celista B.C.

Life Cycle: Mating to mid-May (6 weeks). Females lay eggs in rotting wood. Adults die in late spring. Eggs hatch in 16 days and feed on insects in rotting wood. Pupate and emerge as adults in early fall. Considered to have no light organs, but some newly emerged adults have a faint light for a few days in the fall; larvae and pupa can also emit light. Active during the day. Adults hibernate in groups during the winter in moss, rotting wood and under bark, quite often reusing theses hibernation spots year after year. Found on trees, especially Maples with sap flow in early spring. Adults will ‘reflex bleed’ a milky substance from their legs if disturbed, as all other fireflies.

Winter Fireflies Ellychnia corrusca Jul 01, 2001 Celista B.C.
Winter Fireflies Ellychnia corrusca Jul 01, 2001 Celista B.C.

Predators: Tachinid fly Strongygaster triangulifer and Scuttle Phorid Fly Apocephalus antennatus.

Comments: Essex – Point Pelee National Park. Kent – Rondeau Provincial Park. Widespread across Ontario and Canada.

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

Dendroides canadensis

Fire-colored Beetle
Dendroides canadensis

Fire-colored Beetle Dendroides canadensis male came to moth lights, July 11, 2012, Wheatley, Ontario.
Fire-colored Beetle Dendroides canadensis male came to moth lights, July 11, 2012, Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Upper face and eyes dark; lower face reddish-orange. Hugh eyes. Male eyes touching well before top of head. Female eyes have a black, rough (punctured) area between them. Whiskers (palpi) light orange.
Antenna: Long, dark and branched (pectinate). Branches on female about as long as a segment, or shorter. Male branches two to three times longer than a segment.
Thorax (Pronotum): Reddish-orange, rough (punctured); widest at middle, then slightly tapered to wings. Male thorax narrower than female’s.
Wings (Elytra): Long, dark, short brown hair. Center base of wings (scutellum) red, triangular. Male has straight sides, female widens out near tip.
Legs: Reddish-orange entirely.
Abdomen: Reddish-orange on underside.

Size: 7 to 16 mm. (males small)

Habitat: Deciduous forests.

Food: Night feeders attracted to rotting fruits.

Flight Time: June to July

Fire-colored Beetle Dendroides canadensis larvae on fallen log. April 13, 2006, Wheatley, Ontario.
Fire-colored Beetle Dendroides canadensis larvae on fallen log. April 13, 2006, Wheatley, Ontario.

Life Cycle: Females lay eggs on bark of dead or rotting trees like Oak and Apple. Larvae develop in the dead wood, feeding on fungi like Amillaria Root Rot fungus Amillaria nigra. Larvae yellowish with black to greenish line down centre of entire body. Head and abdomen tip reddish-orange. Two dark tails at tip. One generation per year.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park and Ojibway Prairies. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Widespread in Ontario – common.

Synonyms: Latreille 1810
Dendroides cyanipennis, Pogonocerus bicolor, Dendroides bicolor

References:
The Entomologists Magazine (not Ent Monthly Magazine), 1837-38, Vol. 5 by Newman, pg. 375.
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1854-55, Vol. 7: Synopsis Pyrochroides of U.S. by LeConte, pg. 270.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1888, Vol. 15 by Horn, pp. 46 to 48.
Beetles of Indiana, 1910 by Blatchley, pg. 1349.
Annals of the Magazine of Natural History, 1914, Series 8, Vol. 13 by Blair, pg. 313.
Psyche, 1932, Vol. 39 by Barber, pg. 36.
Entomological News, 1931, Vol. 42 by Payne, pp. 13 to 14.
Checklist of Beetles in Canada, 1991 by Bousquet, pg. 227.
Beetles of Eastern North America, 2014 by Evans, pg. 374.

Types: Unknown.

Osphya varians

False Darkling Beetle
Osphya varians

False Darkling Beetle Osphya varians female on Dogwood flowers. July 02, 2015, Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario.
False Darkling Beetle Osphya varians female on Dogwood flowers. July 02, 2015, Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Face entirely reddish-orange on male and with a black mouth on female. From eyes to back of head it is entirely black with some gray pile. Last segment of whiskers (palpi) long, wide and bent at base.
Antenna: Slender, long, not serrated. Dark except first 2 segments have some yellowish streaks.
Thorax (Pronotum): Gradually widens to lower margin, corners rounded. Reddish-orange with two large, oblong black marks each side of center; sometimes marks are connected or reduced to spots, or entirely absent.

False Darkling Beetle Osphya varians male Jun 17, 2015 Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario.
False Darkling Beetle Osphya varians male Jun 17, 2015 Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario.

Wings (Elytra): Black with some gray pile; sides straight and long. Pale pile down middle (wing suture).
Legs: Female legs mostly black. Male legs have more colour, base of thighs (femora) reddish, rest black. Shins (tibiae) base yellow, middle reddish, tips black. Hind shins curved and wider than female’s with a lobe or hook near the tip.  Feet brown.
Abdomen: Black, lower margin of segments have a yellowish-brown stripe.

Similar Species: The Two-lined Leatherwing Beetle Atalantycha bilineata has thicker, serrated antenna, lacks the white pile down center of wings (suture) and back of head has some red.

False Darkling Beetle Osphya varians female on Dogwood flowers. July 02, 2015, Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario.
False Darkling Beetle Osphya varians female on Dogwood flowers. July 02, 2015, Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario.

Size: 5 to 8 mm.

Habitat: Forests.

Food: Adults feed on flowers, especially Dogwood and Hawthorne.

Flight Time: June to July

Life Cycle: False Darkling Beetles generally live under bark or in fungi. Larvae use elm, oak, hawthorn and tuliptree. Adults come to lights.

Comments: Listed for Ontario but without locations. Found in Essex County – Point Pelee National Park per photos and in Niagara per BugGuide July 11, 2009.

Synonyms: LeConte 1866
Nothus (Nothi) varians 

References:
Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 1861-62, Vol. 3: Classification of the Coleoptera of North America, Pt. 1, by LeConte, pg. 252 (pg. 486 in volume).
Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 1867, Vol. 6, #4: List of Coleoptera of N.A. by Leconte, pg. 145.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1881-82, Vol. 9: Index to the Coleoptera described by LeConte by Henshaw.
The Canadian Entomologist, 1889, Vol. 21: Additions List of Canadian Coleoptera by Kilman, Ridgeway, Ontario, pg. 136.
Beetles of Indiana, 1910 by Blatchley, pg. 1302.
Beetles of Eastern North America, 2014 by Evans, pg. 332.

Types: Unknown