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Pyractomena borealis This strange creature was found crawling on the side of my home in a residential area in Gordon County, GA, US. February 2, 2019. It responded to the sound of my voice by tucking that elongated head into the plated body below it! :o So strange!<br />
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The majority of Lampyrid larvae are predators which specialize on snails, slugs, and other insect larvae. Many species can devour prey much larger than themselves as they inject an anesthetic to make the process much easier! <br />
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<figure class="photo"><a href="https://www.jungledragon.com/image/73712/pyractomena_borealis.html" title="Pyractomena borealis"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.jungledragon.com/images/3231/73712_thumb.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=05GMT0V3GWVNE7GGM1R2&Expires=1578528010&Signature=H4Xwa1wD%2B7QZ0HNKsbt0AMSN4G0%3D" width="102" height="152" alt="Pyractomena borealis This strange creature was found crawling on the side of my home in a residential area in Gordon County, GA, US. February 2, 2019. It responded to the sound of my voice by tucking that elongated head into the plated body below it! :o So strange!<br />
<br />
The majority of Lampyrid larvae are predators which specialize on snails, slugs, and other insect larvae. Many species can devour prey much larger than themselves as they inject an anesthetic to make the process much easier! <br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/73710/lampyrid_or_lycid_larva.html Firefly,Geotagged,Lampyrid,Lampyrid larva,Lampyridae,Pyractomena,Pyractomena borealis,United States,Winter,borealis,firefly larva,larva" /></a></figure> Firefly,Geotagged,Lampyrid,Lampyrid larva,Lampyridae,Pyractomena,Pyractomena borealis,United States,Winter,borealis,firefly larva,larva Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

Pyractomena borealis

This strange creature was found crawling on the side of my home in a residential area in Gordon County, GA, US. February 2, 2019. It responded to the sound of my voice by tucking that elongated head into the plated body below it! :o So strange!

The majority of Lampyrid larvae are predators which specialize on snails, slugs, and other insect larvae. Many species can devour prey much larger than themselves as they inject an anesthetic to make the process much easier!

Pyractomena borealis This strange creature was found crawling on the side of my home in a residential area in Gordon County, GA, US. February 2, 2019. It responded to the sound of my voice by tucking that elongated head into the plated body below it! :o So strange!<br />
<br />
The majority of Lampyrid larvae are predators which specialize on snails, slugs, and other insect larvae. Many species can devour prey much larger than themselves as they inject an anesthetic to make the process much easier! <br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/73710/lampyrid_or_lycid_larva.html Firefly,Geotagged,Lampyrid,Lampyrid larva,Lampyridae,Pyractomena,Pyractomena borealis,United States,Winter,borealis,firefly larva,larva

    comments (13)

  1. This is a cool find!

    Lampyridae > Pyractomena sp., or similar sp.
    Posted 10 months ago
    1. Thanks! <3 Posted 10 months ago
    2. Added a little bit of extra info :D Posted 10 months ago
  2. Very interesting animal! Posted 10 months ago
    1. I thought so too! Jason (my hubby) actually spotted it. He has way better vision than I, so he is always finding cool things! Posted 10 months ago
  3. Awesome! Posted 10 months ago
    1. Thank you, Ferdy! We live in such a strange world! Posted 10 months ago
    2. Got an ID! :D Posted 10 months ago
      1. Congrats, thanks for the persistence! Posted 10 months ago
  4. From today's Facebook post:

    This crazy-looking critter is a firefly larva (Pyractomena borealis)! Many people can easily recognize an adult firefly and are familiar with the ethereal light shows that they perform at night. But, the larvae aren't quite as famous as their adult counterparts. Fireflies, also called lightning bugs, are actually beetles. They have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The larvae of most fireflies are voracious, terrestrial predators that feed on snails, slugs, and insect larvae. But, the genus Pyractomena contains species that are a bit bizarre when compared to other fireflies. Pyractomena larvae are amphibious! They can hunt prey underwater! Once they capture a victim, they use their telescoping head to inject a numbing agent, and then the feast ensues. Incredibly, these larvae can survive for 31 days while submerged underwater! Yet, they don't have gills. Instead, it seems that they can absorb oxygen directly through their skin.

    As the name "firefly" implies, these insects have a claim to fame: they are bioluminescent. The end of their abdomen contains a glow organ, which can create light. So, how does a firefly get its bum to glow? Here's how...The glow organ needs several ingredients in order to make light. It needs luciferin, ATP, and luciferase. Luciferase is an enzyme that causes the luciferin to produce light, and ATP provides the energy to drive the chemical reaction. Interestingly, these ingredients are always present in the glow organ, but it doesn't always glow because oxygen is required for the chemical reaction to occur. No oxygen = no reaction. No reaction = no light. The firefly larvae control the oxygen supply. So, when they want to glow, they feed oxygen to their glow organ, and it creates light. As adults, glowing is all about sex. But, firefly larvae glow for a different reason: to warn potential predators that they taste really gross.

    When they are ready to pupate, most firefly larvae burrow underground. But, not Pyractomena larvae! Instead, these delightful oddballs climb trees where they undergo aerial pupation. They find a cozy crevice in the bark, wedge themselves in, hang upside down, and pupate. A few weeks later, they emerge as adults. Interestingly, males are protandric (they emerge before the females); and, when they emerge as adults, they seek out female pupae. The males will patiently guard a female pupa, sometimes for weeks, as they wait for her to emerge upon which moment they immediately mate with her—without performing any courtship rituals first. A bit cheeky, if you ask me. {Spotted in Georgia by JungleDragon moderator, Lisa Kimmerling} #JungleDragon


    Posted 9 months ago
    1. Thank you for the awesome writeup (and spotlight), Christine! Posted 9 months ago
      1. You're welcome! Posted 9 months ago
  5. Bizarre! Posted 9 months ago

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''Pyractomena borealis'' is a species of firefly in the family of beetles known as Lampyridae. It is found in North America.

Similar species: Beetles
Species identified by Lisa Kimmerling
View Lisa Kimmerling's profile

By Lisa Kimmerling

All rights reserved
Uploaded Feb 3, 2019. Captured Feb 2, 2019 15:38 in 110 Earl St, Plainville, GA 30733, USA.
  • Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
  • f/4.0
  • 1/60s
  • ISO400
  • 60mm