Phausis reticulata, commonly referred to as the blue ghost, is a species of firefly found in the eastern and central United States. The species is common in the southern Appalachians, and can be seen in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Chattahoochee National Forest, as well as North Carolina's DuPont State Forest and Pisgah National Forest.
The males of this all-brown species have a short second antennomere (compared to the third) as well as large eyes. It is an unusual firefly species in that, unlike many fireflies found in the eastern and central United States, the luminescence of P. reticulata males is characterized by a steady glow, instead of a species-specific pattern of flashes. "Blue ghost" fireflies are commonly thought to emit blue light (<490 nanometers), though this is a false perception of their truly green emission light due to the Purkinje effect.
The blue ghost fireflies’ ideal conditions for mating season include warm and moist forest areas that are surrounded by spongy leaf litter. The male fireflies fly a few feet off the ground spotting a female that is flickering a perceptually "blue" light. The female blue ghosts however, are wingless, unable to fly, and possess paedomorphism, a trait where the adult female firefly remains in larval form through adulthood.
- Fender, K.M. 1966. The genus Phausis in America north of Mexico (Coleoptera-Lampyridae). Northwest Science 40: 83-95.
- Capinera, John L. (2008). Encyclopedia of entomology. vol 3. University of Florida. ISBN 1-4020-6360-1, ISBN 978-1-4020-6360-2.
- Branchini, Bruce R.; Southworth, Tara L.; Salituro, Leah J.; Fontaine, Danielle M.; Oba, Yuichi (2017). "Cloning of the Blue Ghost (Phausis reticulata) Luciferase Reveals a Glowing Source of Green Light". Photochemistry and Photobiology. 93 (2): 473–478. doi:10.1111/php.12649. PMID 27696431.
- Frick-Ruppert, Jennifer E, Rosen, Joshua J (2008). "Morphology and Behavior of Phausis Reticulata (Blue Ghost Firefly)". Journal of the North Carolina Academy of Science. 124.4: 139–47.
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