Pygoluciola Wittmer, 1939, Wittmer, 1939

Fu, Xin Hua & Ballantyne, Lesley, 2008, Taxonomy and behaviour of lucioline fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae: Luciolinae) with redefinition and new species of Pygoluciola Wittmer from mainland China and review of Luciola LaPorte, Zootaxa 1733, pp. 1-44: 7-8

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.181382

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Pygoluciola Wittmer, 1939


Genus Pygoluciola Wittmer, 1939  

Pygoluciola Wittmer, 1939: 21   . Ballantyne & Lambkin, 2006: 22.

Luciola   ( Pygoluciola   ) – McDermott, 1966: 115; Ballantyne, 1968: 119; Ballantyne & McLean, 1970: 233; Ballantyne & Lambkin, 2000: 82, 2001: 363.

Type species.— Pygoluciola stylifer Wittmer, 1939   , by monotypy ( RMNH).

Diagnosis. Males exist in two forms, one in which the median posterior margin of both V 7 and T 8 are narrowed and strongly incline either dorsally (V 7) or ventrally (T 8) and may overlap each other in dried specimens. In the second V 7 has no posterior projection, while T 8 narrows very slightly and is narrowly downturned. Pronotum may have tubercles on posterolateral surface; lateral margins of pronotum diverge posteriorly; aedeagus with LL considerably longer than ML; basal piece may be asymmetrical bilobed; aedeagal sheath with narrow elongate anterior portion of sheath sternite and expanded posterior area; lateral arms of tergite clearly visible at sides.

Male (expanded format). Conforms to Ballantyne & Lambkin’s (2006) generic description with these additions/exceptions: Pronotum: irregular small tubercles may be absent in posterolateral areas. Elytron: epipleuron and sutural ridge extending to but not around rounded apex, neither thickened apically; when viewed from beneath the epipleuron conceals the elytral humerus; when viewed from above the epipleuron is first visible at the sides of the elytra anterior to the posterior margin of the MS. Abdomen: V 7 may have LO extending over most of the area except for narrow lateral areas; anterior margin not emarginate; MPP of V 7 slightly produced, apically rounded; PLP lacking as are any projections or processes along the rounded posterior margin of V 7; T 8: reasonably well sclerotised, a little wider than long, lateral margins subparallel sided in most of anterior visible area, in posterior 1 / 5 margins converge to a posterior margin which is slightly less than half the width of the most anterior (visible) portion, and is gently bisinuate, with posterolateral corners very narrowly pointed and slightly inclined ventrally; in pinned specimens a very narrow portion of the whole posterior margin of T 8 inclines ventrally. Aedeagal sheath: up to 3.5 x as long as wide; anterior margin of tergite with transverse darker band. Aedeagus: ML up to ¾ as long as LL which taper towards their rounded apices.

Female. Similar to that described in Ballantyne & Lambkin (2006) except pronotum lacking posterolateral tubercles.

Larva. Reliably associated in Pygoluciola qingyu   sp. n. only. Larvae conform to those of Pteroptyx valida Olivier ( Ballantyne & Menayah, 2002)   and only differences are noted. Elongate slender, tapering in front and behind, flattened; lateral tergal margins thickened but not explanate, extend laterally slightly and cover the laterotergites which are not visible from above. Dorsal surface heavily and evenly pigmented (very dark brown) and heavily sclerotised (no membranous areas visible dorsally); narrow dark median line runs from anterior margin of prothorax to posterior margin of body segment 11; median line not depressed and margins finely and irregularly elevated; three thoracic and nine obvious abdominal segments [the tenth is interpreted, following Jeng et al. (2003 a) as a narrow ring of cuticle immediately following segment 9 and before the origin of the pygopods]. All terga except terminal one bear four rounded projections along their posterior margins; terminal tergum with posterolateral corners obliquely truncate. Ventral surface of meso and metathorax with median sternal elements delimited by an elongate pleural suture from the lateral elements, the laterotergites; this ventral surface is composed of two areas in each segment, in the mesothorax an anterior presternum with paired laterotergites bearing well developed spiracles, followed by a median subrectangular sternal area bearing legs, above coxae episterna and epimera of meso and metathorax visible as thin sclerotised strands; similar arrangement in the metathorax except the metathoracic spiracle is rudimentary. Ventral surface of abdominal segments 1–8 have a single median sternal area per segment separated by elongate laterosternites from paired laterotergites (a pair per segment) bearing spiracles; laterotergites on segment 8 small and partially concealed by wider sternal plate which carries small round LOs at its posterolateral corners; venter of terminal segment lacking the differentiation of previous segments and bearing along its posterior margin pygopodia. Head and antennae of larvae as described for Pteroptyx valida ( Ballantyne & Menayah 2002)   with following exceptions ( Figs 23–40 View FIGURE 23 View FIGURE 24 View FIGURE 25 View FIGURE 26 View FIGURE 27 View FIGURE 28 View FIGURE 29 View FIGURE 30 View FIGURE 31 View FIGURE 32 View FIGURE 33 View FIGURE 34 View FIGURE 35 View FIGURE 36 View FIGURE 37 View FIGURE 38 View FIGURE 39 View FIGURE 40 ): a well defined epicranial stem present behind median dorsal frontoclypeus; anterolateral margins of epicranial suture not clearly defined (visible as slightly darker line after head was cleared and ventral mouthpart complex removed); front margin of head ( Figs 24–25 View FIGURE 24 View FIGURE 25 ), with very short rounded median projection (nasale); 3 rd segment of antennae ( Figs 28 View FIGURE 28 , 29 View FIGURE 29 ), with elongate slender tip subequal in length to thicker basal portion, and surrounded by 2 strong hairs; sense cone elongate slender. Mouthparts conform to general condition seen in Pteroptyx valida   except for mandibles, which have 2 strong teeth on their inner margin ( Figs 25 View FIGURE 25 , 27 View FIGURE 27 , 30 View FIGURE 30 ); labium ( Figs 31–32 View FIGURE 31 View FIGURE 32 ) with an anterior heart shaped prementum and two segmented labial palpi; posterior area consists an elongate mentum which lies between the stipes and extends almost as far as origins of cardines, and a pair of small triangular structures at its posterior end (which may represent the postmentum); apical segment of labial palpi elongate slender pointed, 3–4 × as long as width at base; apical segment of maxillary palpi elongate slender acutely rounded, 2.5 × as long as width at base ( Figs 25 View FIGURE 25 , 26 View FIGURE 26 , 31 View FIGURE 31 , 32 View FIGURE 32 ). Cardines with subtriangular anterior 1 / 3, and elongate slender rod like posterior 2 / 3 which may incline into head and thus not be clearly seen from below.

Remarks. This new species brings the number of described Pygoluciola   species to six. Ballantyne (2008) describes another new species from the Philippines with abdominal modifications conforming to those previously described ( Ballantyne & Lambkin 2001, 2006). The record described here from mainland China is exceptional for several reasons: its geographic range, the synchronous flashing, and morphological diversity – it does not possess the elongate projections of male abdominal T 8 and V 7 previously thought characteristic of the genus. Ballantyne and Lambkin (2001, 2006) included keys to species but this species does not possess the terminal abdomen modifications characteristic of those five species and is not accommodated by that key. In the key to genera here it is the only representative of Pygoluciola   keyed in couplet 5. Males and females are easily distinguished from existing species by the features listed, especially the dorsal colour pattern.


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis












Pygoluciola Wittmer, 1939

Fu, Xin Hua & Ballantyne, Lesley 2008


Ballantyne 2000: 82
Ballantyne 1970: 233
Ballantyne 1968: 119
McDermott 1966: 115


Ballantyne 2006: 22
Wittmer 1939: 21