Friday Beetle Blogging: a non-glowing firefly

Lucidota atra, the black firefly.  New York.
Lucidota atra, the black firefly. New York.

Not all fireflies luminesce.  Lucidota atra is a day-flying species, common in eastern North America, with vestigial light-producing organs.

photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS D60
ISO 100, 1/200 sec, f/13, flash diffused through tracing paper

4 thoughts on “Friday Beetle Blogging: a non-glowing firefly”

  1. I didn’t know NY had fireflies. I used to live in PA back in the mid 80s as a kid. I caught them, but they died overnight. I didn’t know what to feed them and stuff. I was mean and loved to step on them to see their glow blood. 🙁

  2. I grew up in Queens, NY… and yup, even in the city there were plenty of them.

    It’d be neat to look and measure how well the vestigial light-producing organs are supplied with tracheae. I’d predict much less so than in sister species that haven’t given up their glow, but it’d be nice to know.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Alex. I’m working (slowly) on a book about fireflies in nature and human culture for a general audience. It is a popular myth that all fireflies glow, and another popular myth that there are no fireflies west of the Rockies. I grew up in Oregon, and our most common fireflies, in the genus Ellychnia are likewise day-active and non-luminescent. Keep up the great work!

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