Photuris (genus)

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Photuris pennsylvanicus 1665.jpg
Adult Pennsylvania lightning bug (P. pennsylvanica)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Superfamily: Elateroidea
Family: Lampyridae
Subfamily: Photurinae
Genus: Photuris
Dejean, 1833

Several, see text

Photuris is a genus of fireflies (beetles of the family Lampyridae) wherein are the femme fatale lightning bugs of North America. This common name refers to the fact that the females of these predatory beetles mimic the light signals of other firefly species' females, to attract, kill, and eat the males. Their flashing bioluminescent signals seem to have evolved independently and eventually adapted to those of their prey, mainly unrelated Lampyrinae, such as Photinus (rover fireflies) or Pyractomena.[1]

The Pennsylvania lightning bug (P. pennsylvanica) is the state insect of Pennsylvania.

Species include:


Media related to Photuris at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ Kathrin F. Stanger-Hall, James E. Lloyd & David M. Hillis (2007). "Phylogeny of North American lightning bugs(Coleoptera: Lampyridae): Implications for the evolution of light signals". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45 (1): 33–49. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.05.013. PMID 17644427.