Photinus sabulosus

Firefly
Photinus sabulosus

 

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.

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.

 

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