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Lamprohiza splendidula01.jpg
Male adult of Lamprohiza splendidula
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Infraorder: Elateriformia
Superfamily: Elateroidea
Family: Lampyridae
Subfamily: Lampyrinae
Latreille, 1817[verification needed]

Cratomorphini (disputed)
Photinini (paraphyletic?)
and see text.


Psilocladinae (disputed)

The Lampyrinae are a large subfamily of fireflies (Lampyridae). The exact delimitation, and the internal systematics, are a matter of debate; for long this group was used as a "wastebin taxon" to hold any fireflies with insufficiently resolved relationships. Regardless, they are very diverse even as a good monophyletic group, containing flashing and continuous-glow fireflies from the Holarctic and some tropical forms too. The ancestral Lampyrinae probably had no or very primitive light signals; in any case several modern lineages have returned to the pheromone communication of their ancestors independently it seems.[1]

The Cyphonocerinae were once contained herein but they are well distinct. The Psilocladinae on the other hand seem to be a de facto junior synonym of the tribe Photinini, but this requires further study. The Amydetinae are a former subfamily that is nowadays largely but not completely contained herein too. The tribe Pleotomini seems to be a specialized lineage of Lampyrini and is here included therein, while the Photinini seem to comprise two rather distinct lineages, one of which might warrant separation as tribe Phosphaenini. Meanwhile, the Cratomorphini could just be an assemblage of unrelated ancient Lampyrinae and altogether invalid as a tribe.[1]

With these changes and uncertainties, several genera are of very badly resolved position in this group; for example:

The genus Pristolycus is better tentatively included in the Luciolinae.[2]


  1. ^ a b Stanger-Hall et al. (2007)
  2. ^ Stanger-Hall et al. (2007), Fu & Ballantyne (2008)


  • Fu, Xin Hua & Ballantyne, Lesley A. (2008): Taxonomy and behaviour of lucioline fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae: Luciolinae) with redefinition and new species of Pygoluciola Wittmer from mainland China and review of Luciola LaPorte. Zootaxa 1733: 1–44. PDF abstract
  • Stanger-Hall, Kathrin F.; Lloyd, James E. & Hillis, David M. (2007): Phylogeny of North American fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae): Implications for the evolution of light signals. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 45(1): 33-49. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.05.013 PMID 17644427 PDF fulltext