Pyrophorus noctilucus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Pyrophorus noctilucus
Pyrophorus noctilucus click beetle.jpg
Jamaican click beetle Pyrophorus noctilucus
Elateridae - Pyrophorus noctilucus.JPG
Pyrophorus noctilucus from Argentina. Mounted specimen
Scientific classification
P. noctilucus
Binomial name
Pyrophorus noctilucus

Pyrophorus noctilucus, common name Headlight Elater, is a species of click beetle (family Elateridae).


Pyrophorus noctilucus can reach a length of 20–40 millimetres (0.79–1.57 in). The basic coloration is dark brown. The antennae are serrate. The pronotum shows a long backward-pointing tooth.

These beetles are among the brightest bioluminescent insects (Levy 1998).[1] With a brightness of around 45 millilamberts (Harvey & Stevens 1928), they are said to be technically bright enough to read by (Meerman).[2] They achieve their luminescence by means of two light organs at the posterior corners of the prothorax, and a broad area on the underside of the first abdominal segment. Their bioluminescence is similar to that of another group of beetles, the fireflies, although click beetles do not flash, but remain constantly glowing (though they can control the intensity; for example, they become brighter when touched by a potential predator). Also the larvae and the pupae have light organs and the eggs are luminous too.

Adults feed on pollen, fermenting fruit and sometimes small insects, while the larvae live in the soil and feed on various plant materials and invertebrates, as well on the larvae of other beetles.


This species can be found in Belize, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Argentina, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Texas, Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Uruguay.


  1. ^ Levy, Hazel. "University of Florida Book of Insects". University of Florida. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  2. ^ Meerman, Jan. Retrieved 2 May 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)