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

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