Pygatyphella salomonis Olivier, 1911

Ballantyne, Lesley A. & Lambkin, Christine, 2009, Systematics of Indo-Pacific fireflies with a redefinition of Australasian Atyphella Olliff, Madagascan Photuroluciola Pic, and description of seven new genera from the Luciolinae (Coleoptera: Lampyridae), Zootaxa 1997, pp. 1-188: 100-101

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Pygatyphella salomonis Olivier, 1911


Pygatyphella salomonis Olivier, 1911  

( Figs 417–439)

Atyphella salomonis Olivier, 1911:172   .

Nec Atyphella salomonis var. limbatipennis Pic, 1911:165   .

Nec Luciola (Luciola) salomonis var. limbatipennis Pic. McDermott, 1966:112   .

Holotype. Male. SOLOMON ISLANDS. ( NHML).  

Other specimens examined. PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Bougainville, 1931, J Waterhouse, 5 males, 2 females ( BPBM)   ; 5.91S, 154.98E, Togerao 15–21.iv.1968, Tawi, 5 males, 2 females ( BPBM) GoogleMaps   ; 6.40S, 155.7E, Kokure, 9–, EF, male 2 females ( BPBM) GoogleMaps   . SOLOMON ISLANDS: Western Pr., Choiseul 7.10S, 156.95E, Kitipi River , 80m, 14.iii. RS male ( BPBM) GoogleMaps   ; Malangona 2.iii.1964 PS male ( BPBM)   . 8.07S, 156.75E, Gizo 2–60m, 18.xi.1963 JG 2 males, female ( BPBM) GoogleMaps   ; 0–140m xii.1980 NK female; Gizo Island 30m, MV light, 4.viii.1964, JS, male ( BPBM)   ; 1–100m, 11.vii.1959, JG, 2 males (one male at light); 0–100m, iii.1985, NK, female; 50–120m, 16–26.iv.1964 malaise trap, JS male ( BPBM)   . Western Province, Vella Lavella 7.75S, 156.65E: Mt Arewana 100–400, 16.ix.1963, JG, male, female ( BPBM) GoogleMaps   ; Gingola 10m, ix.1964, JG, PS, 2 males, 2 females ( BPBM)   ; Kow , 30m, 25–28.xi.1963, PS, 5 males, 2 females ( BPBM)   ; Kundurumbangara 60–80m, 15.xi.1963 JG, PS, 3 males, female ( BPBM)   ; Pusisoma , 14–29.xi.1963, PS, 16 males, female ( BPBM)   ; Ulo Crater , 10m, 7–17.xii.1963, JG, PS, 12 males, 7 females (3 males, 1 female in malaise trap) ( BPBM)   . Isabel Pr., Santa Isabel: 8.00S, 159.10E, Buala, 18.viii.1964 RS, male light trap ( BPBM) GoogleMaps   ; Molao COB, male ( BPBM)   . Guadalcanal Pr. , Guadalcanal, 8.0S, 159E, Kolosulu, 20.v.1960 COB, 6 males 3 females ( BPBM)   ; 9.61S, 160.28E, Lame near Mt Tatuve , 300m, 18.v.1960, COB, 4 males 2 females ( BPBM) GoogleMaps   ; 9.32S, 160.12E, 10mi nw Honiara, at Mavo bridge 25–26.xi.1969 J.E.Lloyd, 11 males (G649–652, 654, 55, 657–658,660–662, of which 660 and 662 have flashes recorded). ( JELC) GoogleMaps   ; 13 kms SE Honiara 50–500m, 1.xi.1970, NK, male ( BPBM)   ; Betikama River , ix.1960, WB, male ( BPBM)   ; 9.53S, 160.36E Paripao, 21.v.1960, COB 4 males, female ( BPBM) GoogleMaps   ; Sahuluatea 200–400m, i.1973 NK, 5 males ( BPBM)   ; Tambalia 30 – 35 km E Honiara, 22–25.v.1964 JS, RS, 3 males (one male sweeping) ( BPBM)   . Malaita Pr. , Malaita 9.00S, 161.00E: Auki, 2–20m, Calamus, 2.x.1957 JG, male GoogleMaps   ; Dala 7–, RS, JS 3 males, female (male in malaise trap) ( BPBM)   . 9.08S, 160.25E, Nggela Is, Haleta 200–250m, 11.viii–10.x.1964, RS, 2 males, female ( BPBM) GoogleMaps   .

Code name. Luciola   1 ( Lloyd, 1973b)

Diagnosis. Distinguished from other similarly coloured species by the retracted LO in V7, the arched posterior area of V7. Distinguished from Pygat. limbatipennis   by the pale lateral elytral margins, and narrower and apically pointed teeth on the ML in the latter (see Tables 8, 9 for comparisons).

Male. The major island populations of this species are distinguished in Table 9. 6.5 –11.2 mm long. Colour ( Figs 417–420; Table 9): PN orange-yellow, semitransparent (irregular retraction of fat body material beneath cuticle leaves various patches which may appear pale brown); MN usually paler yellow than PN, often with aggregation of fat body beneath cuticle; MS orange, retraction of material beneath cuticle may appear slightly darker colour depending on direction of illumination (especially in Gizo males); elytra very dark brown–black; epipleuron of Bougainville males brownish–orange often with narrow aggregation of fat body; under microscope illumination from above lateral margins of elytra appear slightly semitransparent but are not paler; head antennae and palpi very dark brown; most of ventral surface yellow (semitransparent in area of metasternum and also basal abdomen), legs yellow with brown tibiae and tarsi of legs 1 only, and brown tarsi only of legs 2, 3, or all legs coloured as for legs 1; V2 and 3 yellow; V3 narrowly (some Vella Lavella) or widely (Malaita) dark brown; V4 dark brown, yellow margined laterally, sometimes with median pale yellow area, except in Gizo males where all of V4 is dark brown,; V5 entirely dark brown; V6, 7 creamy yellow in area of LO, posterior area of V7 yellowish, semitransparent and well sclerotised; basal abdominal tergites brown, T 7, 8 uniformly dingy yellow, semitransparent. Pronotum: Bougainville 2.0– 2.4 mm long; 3.0– 3.9 mm wide; W/L 1.5–1.6. Vella Lavella 1.5–2.0 mm long; 2.7–3.3 mm wide; W/L 1.6–1.8. Gizo 1.6–2.1 mm long; 2.8–3.4 mm wide; W/L 1.6–1.7. Guadalcanal 1.4–1.7 mm long; 2.4–3.0 mm wide; W/L 1.7. Elytron: Bougainville 7.2–8.8 mm long; Vella Lavella 5.5–6.5 mm long; Gizo 6.0– 6.5 mm long; Guadalcanal 5.0– 6.3 mm long; convex-sided, with 3 barely elevated interstitial lines. Head: can be partially retracted within prothoracic cavity thus often not visible from above; Bougainville: 1.9–2.5 mm; SIW 0.15–0.2 mm; SIW/GHW 0.1; Vella Lavella GHW 1.8–2.0 mm; SIW 0.15–0.2 mm; SIW/GHW 0.1; Gizo 1.8–2.0 mm; SIW 0.2mm; SIW/GHW 0.1; Guadalcanal 1.5–1.9 mm; SIW 0.15–0.2 mm; SIW/GHW 0.1; antennal sockets very close not contiguous; ASD <ASW. Abdomen, ventrites ( Figs 421–427): LO occupying all of V6; LO in V7 occupying less than half area of V7, not reaching sides, posterior margin not emarginated; muscle impressions clearly visible through cuticle in posterior half which is arched not swollen; posterolateral corners of V7 angulate. MPP ( Figs 422–428) symmetrical or not, elongate, lateral margins converge slightly posteriorly, posterior margin rounded, squarely or obliquely truncate, or medianly emarginate (see Table 9); with a dorsal ridge developed to the left of centre. Tergites ( Figs 421, 422–427, 436–440): T8 conforms to patterns 1–4 (Table, 9) and occasionally as wide as long, with a curved elevation in posterior area to one side of mid-line; lateral margins converge posteriorly and median posterior margin (from above) elongate and narrowly to moderately broadly rounded, except very short in Malaita males; anterolateral prolongations of T8 elongate, narrow (from below), and expanded vertically; ventrally directed pieces on prolongations of T8 present arising from ventral surface of prolongations. Aedeagal sheath like that of Pygat limbatipennis   . Sternite subparallel-sided for 1/ 3–½ of its length past articulation with sheath tergite, with right side emarginate; left lateral margin of anterior arms of tergite slightly produced; anterior margin of tergite not emarginate. Aedeagus ( Figs 428–435): L/ W<3; LL/ML wide; LL diverging along most of length dorsally, slightly shorter than ML, LL apices rounded and subequal in width to ML; ML bearing broad rounded lateral teeth, apex of ML rounded truncate; base of LL not asymmetrically produced, slightly irregularly rounded.

Female. 4.7 (Kukugai)–7.5 (Bougainville) mm long. Coloured as for male with these exceptions: basal abdominal ventrites yellow, V5 dark brown, LO creamy yellow in V6; V7, 8 orange yellow, semitransparent and well sclerotised. Pronotum of similar outline to that of male. Head of winged female form. Posterior margin of V7 shallowly emarginated with posterolateral corners widely rounded; median posterior margins of V8 not emarginated; lateral margins of V8 converge evenly posteriorly, posterior margin truncate.

Remarks. Olivier (1911) described the uniformly black elytra and obsolete interstitial lines of Atyphella salomonis   . Pic's (1911) variety limbatipennis   differed only in the yellow elytral margin.

A description of the light production of this species follows the description of M. limbata   . Assignment of any specimens other than those with associated flashing data is tentative only. Island populations differ from each other and within the differing localities on each island, especially in the shape of the MPP and the length of the median posterior area of T8 (see Tables 8, 9). This species was taken with Pygat. limbatipennis   at six locations on Guadalcanal, and two on Choiseul. Interpretation of colour patterns in some specimens assigned here to Pygat. limbatipennis   (q.v.) has been difficult as microscopic illumination confused the issue and it is possible that subsequent studies may find intergrades between the two species.


Natural History Museum, Tripoli


Bishop Museum


University of Montana Museum














Pygatyphella salomonis Olivier, 1911

Ballantyne, Lesley A. & Lambkin, Christine 2009

Luciola (Luciola) salomonis var. limbatipennis Pic. McDermott, 1966:112

McDermott, F. A. 1966: 112

Atyphella salomonis

Olivier, E. 1911: 172

Atyphella salomonis var. limbatipennis

Pic, M. 1911: 165