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Common Eastern Firefly (Photinus pyralis)

Photinus pyralis
Common Easter Firefly
Adult diagnosis:
One of the most common fireflies in North America this firefly is typically dark brown with the elytra trimmed in yellow with a dorso-ventrally flattened body. It has an orange/red and yellow head with a black spot. Its size averages at about 10-14mm long. The female usually have short wings and do not fly. 
(photo by Amber McCown)
Common Eastern Firefly
(June, St. Charles Co., MO photo by David Larson)
The larvae, called glow worms, and the eggs glow as well as the adults. They have six legs, a pair of antennae, and a flattened segmented abdomen. 
Photinus pyralis eggs in cluster 80X
(photos by Terry Lynch)
Natural history:
Specific flashing signals are used by both the males and female to communicate. The females wait on the ground to answer a passing male's signal with one of their own. In this species the males flash for 0.3 seconds every 5.5 seconds with the female's flash appearing 2 seconds after the male's. They mate in Summer and early Fall. The flashing also deters predators because the insect contains a poisonous steroid. 
These fireflies can be found throughout the United States East of the Rockies.
Larvae can be found in moist places such as on the ground or under bark. Adults tend to be in meadows or along woodland edges.
Both adult and larvae are predatious and feed on other insects, earthworms and snails. 
Conservation status:
No special status. 

Wichita State University
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