Magnalata limbata ( Blanchard, 1853 )

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 : 69-71

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Magnalata limbata ( Blanchard, 1853 )


Magnalata limbata ( Blanchard, 1853) View in CoL

( Figs 17, 18, 227, 228, 229, 230, 235, 236, 238, 239, 244)

Luciola limbata Blanchard, 1853:73 Plate VI. View in CoL

Luciola (Luciola) limbata Blanchard. McDermott, 1966:108 View in CoL .

Nec Luciola marginipennis Guérin-Méneville. Olivier, 1902:82 . Lacordaire, 1857:337.

Luciola rubiginosa Olivier, 1883 View in CoL , p. 329; 1902, p. 85; 1913, p.417 (Synonymy–Partim). McDermott, 1966, p. 112.

Types. Luciola limbata View in CoL : SOLOMON ISLANDS. Location of holotype unknown .

Luciola rubiginosa : 'Patria' (? = New Hebrides, McDermott, 1966). (MNHN).

Specimens Examined. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Isabel Pr., 8.00 S, 159.10 E, Santa GoogleMaps Isabel, Tatamba , 2–6.x.1965, Roy Soc Exped, village garden, low vegetation, 4 males ( NHML) ; 29.ix.1965, wooded hillside behind rest house, male ( NHML) . Malaita Pr., 9.00 S, 161.00 E GoogleMaps , Malaita: Auki , 2–20 m, 18.ix.1957, JLG, 2 males ( BPBM) ; Malaita, 28.v.1955 E Brown, 6 males ( NHML) . Central Pr., Florida Group: Big Nggela 9.00S, 160.00E, Takopekope , COB, 12.ix.1960, 2 females, 10 males GoogleMaps ; Gairava, 14.ix.1960, 2 males. Nggela, Dende , 8.i.1912, 1 male ( NHML) . Tulagi , R Lever, 2 males (One labelled luminous) ( NHML) . 9.08S, 160.25E, Small Nggela, Vunuha , 19.ix.1960, COB, light trap, 3 males ( BPBM) GoogleMaps . 9.60 S, 160.20E Guadalcanal Pr. , 10 mi NW Honiara at Mavo Bridge, xi.25, 26.1969, J. E. Lloyd, 2 males (G653, 656 flashing data associated), 1 female (G659) ( JELC) . Makira Pr., San Cristobal: 10.30S, 161.49E, Kira Kira , COB, 24.vii.–1.viii. 1960, 75 males, 2 females ( BPBM) GoogleMaps . Maniate , COB, 6.viii.1960, 5 males ( BPBM) ; Manipwena , Magoha R., 13.viii.1960, COB, 34 males ( BPBM) ; Wugiroga , 8.viii.1960, COB, 1 male ( BPBM) ; Pooma , 0–30m, 16–17.v.1964, JS, 8 males ( BPBM) ; Huni R mouth, camp 4, Roy. Soc Exped. BM 1966, 12.viii.1965, village garden low vegetation, male ( NHML) . Central Pr., 11.39S, 160.14E, Rennell: Lavanggu , 19.X.1951, Danish Galathea expedition, 1 male ( NHML) GoogleMaps ; Teuhungano , 14.x.1953 J Bodley, 3 males ( NHML) . Russell Is , R Lever, 2 males ( NHML) .

Code name. Luciola 2 ( Lloyd, 1973b) (Ballantyne identified this as L. wolfi in Lloyd 1973b)

Diagnosis. One of four similarly coloured species now known from the Solomons, with dark brown elytra laterally margined with orange, distinguished as follows: Magnalata limbata : elytra parallel-sided; MS black; 4 elytral interstitial lines as well developed as suture; pronotal punctures broad, deep, but not contiguous; V4 brown at sides, V5 brown; LO occupying all but a narrow posterior border in V7; MPP about as long as wide, apically rounded, lateral margins converging posteriorly; ML of aedeagus lacking lateral teeth. Pygatyphella limbatipennis and Pygat. limbatifusca sp. n.: pronotum orange (with median dark spots in limbatifusca ); elytra parallel-sided; MS red; elytral interstitial lines poorly defined; pronotal punctures broad, shallow, contiguous; V4 brown, V5 very dark brown; LO retracted to anterior portion of V7; MPP elongate, apically truncate (sometimes obliquely), lateral margins subparallel; ML of aedeagus with lateral teeth. Convexa wolfi : elytra convex-sided; MS red; 4 elytral interstitial lines well–defined; pronotal punctures very small, shallow, separated by 1–2 times their width (surface of pronotum between punctures smooth and shiny); all ventrites yellow except for very narrow brown posterior margin of V5; MPP short apically rounded; ML of aedeagus lacking lateral teeth.

Male. Dimensions of the 4 largest populations of this species are distinguished below. Kira Kira 9.7–14.3 mm long; 3.8–5.3 mm wide; W/L 0.4; Maniate 10.4–11.2 mm long; 4.0– 4.7 mm wide; W/L 0.4; Pooma 9.2–11.3 mm long; 3.6–4.7 mm wide; W/L 0.4; Manipwena 11.0– 12.5 mm long; 4.4–5.0 mm wide; W/L 0.4. Colour ( Figs 17, 18, 229–230): Pronotum dingy orange, MN paler orange; irregular retraction of fat body material beneath cuticle leaves darker patches visible; MS very dark brown; elytra very dark brown, almost black, with a moderately wide orange–yellow lateral border narrowing slightly in posterior ¼ and very narrow at apex and not extending to suture; epipleuron orange yellow from beneath; inner half of elytral apex and all suture entirely dark brown; head very dark, antennae, labrum and palpi moderately dark brown; venter of thorax and all legs bright orange yellow except for brown midventral faces of coxae 3 and dark brown tibiae, tarsi of all legs; V2, 3 yellow; V4 yellow medially, laterally brown, entirely dark brown in Auki males; V5 brown, irregularly yellow across anterior margin, entirely dark brown in Auki males; V6, 7 creamy white; all abdominal tergites pale orange yellow. Pronotum ( Figs 229, 230): Kira Kira 2.0– 2.5 mm long; 3.5–4.7 mm wide; W/ L 1.7–1.8; Maniate 2.1–2.3 mm long; 3.9–4.1 mm wide; W/L 1.8; Pooma 1.7–2.3 mm long; 3.3–4.3 mm wide; W/L 1.8–1.9; Manipwena 2.1–2.3 mm long; 3.9–4.2 mm wide; W/L 1.8; dorsal punctures broad, moderately deep, not contiguous over most of disc, subcontiguous laterally. Elytron ( Fig. 17): Kira Kira 7.7–11.8 mm long; Maniate 8.3–8.9 mm long; Pooma 7.5–9.0 mm long; Manipwena 8.9–10.2 mm long; parallel-sided; with 2 well–defined and elevated interstitial lines (1, 2). Head: partially retracted beneath PN and into prothoracic cavity in resting position, often scarcely visible from above; GHW Kira Kira 2.2–3.0 mm; SIW 0.4–0.5 mm; SIW/GHW 0.16–0.18; Maniate GHW 2.4–2.5 mm; SIW 0.4; SIW/GHW 0.16; Pooma 2.1–2.8 mm; SIW 0.3–0.4 mm; SIW/GHW 0.14; Manipwena GHW 2.5–2.7 mm; SIW 0.4–0.5; SIW/GHW 0.16–0.18; ASD<ASW; frons 2 X ASW high, frons-vertex junction rounded. Antennae longer than GHW but less than 2 X GHW. Mouthparts functional; apical segment labial palpi laterally compressed, irregularly excised along inner margin (most prevalent situation is listed first): Pooma L and R both with median incision, or L and R entire, or both L and R irregular; Maniate L irregular, R medially emarginated with very short and narrow tooth just anterior to emargination, or L irregular and R medially incised, or both irregular; Pooma L irregular, R medially emarginated, or both irregular, or both entire; Manipwena L and R both medially emarginated, or L emarginated and R irregular, or R emarginated and L irregular, or both irregular. Abdomen, ventrites (Fig. 244): LO entire in V6 and V7 where it reaches sides but not posterior margin, occupying most of V7. MPP moderately broad, apically rounded. Tergites: T8 as wide as long, anterolateral prolongations narrow, not as long as visible posterior portion, and not expanded obviously vertically. Aedeagus (Figs. 235, 236, 238): L/ W>3/1; LL/ML moderate; subparallel-sided; LL not divergent along most of their length dorsally and slightly shorter than ML; apices of LL not out–turned, bearing a tooth on the inner preapical margin; base of LL produced and medially acute.

Female ( Figs 227, 228). 12.5–16.0 mm long. Coloured as for male except for creamy white LO in ventrite 6 and pale yellow, semitransparent V7, 8. V7 with broad shallow median emargination, lateral areas of posterior margin slightly obliquely truncate; median posterior margin of V8 narrowly emarginate; T8 with lateral margins converging slightly posteriorly, posterior margin rounded.

Larva. Associated by similarity of label data only. With laterally explanate tergal margins.

Remarks. The very distinctive colour, with black MS, and the size permits a reasonable association in the absence of type material. Olivier (1913) synonymised L. limbata and L. rubiginosa with L. marginipennis Guérin-Méneville ; this synonymy is rejected and marginipennis is treated as Incertae Sedis here. Luciola limbata Blanchard (1853) and Luciola rubiginosa Olivier (1883) from the Solomons were both described with black MS, and otherwise consistent in colour and geography with specimens described here, while Guérin- Méneville's (1838) L. marginipennis had a red MS and was probably from the NW area of the island of New Guinea at Mt Arfak (‘Offak’), as was Boisduval’s (1835) Lampyris marginipennis . This study revealed no fireflies with colour and size that approach either of these two descriptions.

M. limbata occurs in the more southerly of the Solomon Islands group (Santa Isabel, Rendova, Russell Is, Nggela, Guadalcanal, Malaita and San Cristobal) where it overlaps in range with C. wolfi on Santa Isabel and Guadalcanal, and Pygat. limbatipennis on Santa Isabel, the Florida island group and Guadalcanal ( Table 7). It and Pygat. limbatifusca sp. n. are the only firefly species with pale margined elytra presently recorded from San Cristobal.

Lloyd (1973b:992) observed that this species flew at heights of 6–40 feet while Luciola species 1 (= Pygatyphella limbatipennis ) flew just above the ground to a maximum height of 3–4 feet, emitting "single, short, bright flashes,.with a flash period of 0.5 sec". M. limbata "emitted single flashes and pairs of flashes with a flash period of 0.5 sec." Lloyd (1973b) identified his 3 larval specimens of ‘ Luciola 3’ as Luciola rubiginosa . These specimens have not been relocated.


Natural History Museum, Tripoli


Bishop Museum














Magnalata limbata ( Blanchard, 1853 )

Ballantyne, Lesley A. & Lambkin, Christine 2009

Luciola (Luciola) limbata Blanchard. McDermott, 1966:108

McDermott, F. A. 1966: 108

Luciola marginipennis Guérin-Méneville. Olivier, 1902:82

Olivier, E. 1902: 82
Lacordaire, T. 1857: 337

Luciola rubiginosa

McDermott, F. A. 1966: 112
Olivier, E. 1883: 329

Luciola limbata

Blanchard, C. E. 1853: 73
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