Orfelia fultoni

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Orfelia fultoni
Foxfire at Anna Ruby Fall, Chattahoochee National Forest (14516028661).jpg
O. fultoni larvae at Anna Ruby Falls
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Mycetophilidae
Genus: Orfelia
Species: O. fultoni
Binomial name
Orfelia fultoni
(Fisher, 1940)

Orfelia fultoni is the only bioluminescent species of fly found in North America. It is distantly related to Arachnocampa. The larvae of the species live in stream banks among moss and rock cavities, as well as in wet sandstone caves. They build sticky webs, and using their two bioluminescent lanterns as an attractant, capture flying prey. They produce the bluest light of any studied bioluminescent insect. The species occurs in the Appalachian Mountains and Cumberland Plateau, primarily in the states of Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.[1]

Orfelia fultoni has sometimes been referred to by the common name "dismalites",[2] in consequence of their presence in Dismals Canyon, a National Natural Landmark in northwest Alabama.


  1. ^ Link to article on Orfelia fultoni
  2. ^ Dismals Canyon Website

External links[edit]