Lamprohiza splendidula (Linnaeus, 1767)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

ELATEROIDEA Leach, 1815

LAMPYRIDAE Rafinesque, 1815

LAMPYRINAE Latreille, 1817

LAMPROHIZINI Kazantsev, 2010

Lamprohiza Motschulsky, 1853 

This species is included in our key because it is present on the latest UK checklist, it was thought to be a very local and rare insect in Kent for a while but this is doubtful and the only confirmed record is of a pair of specimens from a single site in the west of England in 1884, these are thought to be the offspring of a specimen imported from the continent and there is no evidence that it was ever established. On the continent it is a widespread European and northern Asian species and in some areas e.g. Slovakia it is the most common member of the family. Adults occur in May and June and are nocturnal. Females are 10-15mm, pale creamy-yellow and have reduced hind wings and elytra, they glow brightly from a pair of luminescent organs on the second and terminal abdominal segments and less so from others along the abdomen. Males are 8-10mm with notably large eyes and conspicuous luminescent organs on the fifth and sixth abdominal segments, they superficially resemble Lampyris males but have distinct translucent windows on the pronotum, they are fully-winged and fly to locate females. Fully-grown larvae are about 12mm long and uniformly brown with paired luminous spots on abdominal segments 2-6 although the number varies. They are nocturnal predators of snails and slugs.

Similar Species
Lampyris noctiluca
  • ♂ - Pronotum lacking translucent windows.
  • ♂ - Larger (10-12mm) and broader.
  • ♀ - Elytra entirely absent.
  • ♀ - Larger (>12mm).

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