Animal Species:Blue Mountains Firefly

Of over 2,000 species of firefly beetles (family Lampyridae) worldwide, 25 are found in Australia.

Blue Mountains Firefly showing luminescent area

Andrew Donnelly © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Blue Mountains Firefly

Number of species

25

Size range

6 mm - 9 mm

Distribution

These fireflies are found from Sydney region to south-eastern Queensland. The Blue Mountains Firefly is the only firefly species in the Sydney area.

Habitat

The Blue Mountains Firefly lives in rainforest.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The fireflies' habit of producing a pulse of light from their abdomen when flying at night makes them particularly noticeable. They have been of interest to humans since ancient times. The first written records of fireflies are from China 2,500 years ago.

Life cycle

Adult fireflies only live for a few days and do not feed (they have no mouthparts) but their larvae generally feed on snails. They hunt by following the slime trail to their prey, which is seized, injected with poison and eaten.

Mating and reproduction

The light helps members of the opposite sex find each other at night. Fireflies advertise their locations with flashes of light. Different species use specific sequences of flashes to attract mates of their own kind. When many individuals of some tropical species gather in bushes and trees, they synchronise their flashes into a spectacular light show that may also serve to confuse potential predators.

Classification

Species:
lychnus
Genus:
Atyphella
Subfamily:
Luciolinae
Family:
Lampyridae
Superfamily:
Elateroidea
Suborder:
Polyphaga
Order:
Coleoptera
Class:
Insecta
Subphylum:
Uniramia
Phylum:
Arthopoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags fireflies, beetles, insects, invertebrates, luminescence, identification, arthropods, wil, wildlife of sydney,

3 comments

AbelSmith - 7.09 PM, 06 September 2010
Blue mountains in Australia, consists of a sandstone plateau, with gorges that run upto 760 metres deep. A large part of the Blue Mountains is incorporated into the Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Site, which consists of seven beautiful national park areas and also a natural conservation reserve. http://www.australiavoyage.net/blue-mountains-australia.html

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