Colophotia Motschulsky

Ballantyne, Lesley A. & Lambkin, Christine L., 2013, Systematics and Phylogenetics of Indo-Pacific Luciolinae Fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) and the Description of new Genera, Zootaxa 3653 (1), pp. 1-162 : 60-64

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Colophotia Motschulsky


Colophotia Motschulsky

[ Figs 92–108 View FIGURES 92–98 View FIGURES 99–103 View FIGURES 104–108 ]

Colophotia Dejean, 1833:103 (catalogue name only).

Colophotia Motschulsky, 1853: 51 . Olivier, 1885: 367; (in Baer), 1886: 132; 1907: 56; 1910b: 48; 1911b: 102; 1913a: 59. McDermott, 1966: 116. Ballantyne, 1968: 106; 1987b: 173, 175–177. Ballantyne and McLean, 1970: 234. Ballantyne & Lambkin 2009:155, Figs 98–105 View FIGURES 92–98 View FIGURES 99–103 View FIGURES 104–108 ).

Type species: Lampyris praeusta Eschscholtz, 1822 , designated by Motschulsky (1853).

Diagnosis. Colophotia is probably a heterogeneous assemblage of species and this definition is based on three species ( praeusta , the type species, concolor and plagiata ) scored by Ballantyne and Lambkin (2009) and herein. Males most obviously distinguished by the bipartite LO in V7 separated by a longitudinal carina ( Figs 99, 102, 103 View FIGURES 99–103 , 107, 108 View FIGURES 104–108 ), oblique PLP, deeply emarginate MPP prolonged into two hooks curving dorsally, FS 7–9 conspicuously shorter than remaining FS [ Fig. 101 View FIGURES 99–103 ), anteriorly prolonged anterolateral corners of T7, very elongate paired anterior prolongations of T8, very elongate aedeagal sheath and shortened aedeagal LL ( Fig. 198 View FIGURES 191–199 ) ( Ballantyne & Lambkin 2009 Figs 98–105 View FIGURES 92–98 View FIGURES 99–103 View FIGURES 104–108 ).

Female ( Figs 92–98 View FIGURES 92–98 , 104–106 View FIGURES 104–108 ). Macropterous and assumed capable of flight. Pronotal outline similar to that of male. No legs or parts thereof swollen and /or curved. Median posterior margin of V7 widely emarginate, median area not broadly rounded. Bursa with wide paired plates on each side, anterior pair larger and inner margins rugulose ( Figs 94–98 View FIGURES 92–98 , 106 View FIGURES 104–108 ).

Larva. (Associated by breeding for C. praeusta only). Terrestrial; elongate, slender spindle shaped ( Ballantyne and Lambkin 2009 Fig. 517), of the form of Pteroptyx maipo and several Australian Australoluciola sp. larvae ( Ballantyne & Lambkin 2000; Ballantyne et al 2011).

Remarks. All references to Colophotia subsequent to and including Motschulsky (1853) attributes the genus to Dejean (1833). This latter reference is a catalogue name only. Motschulsky (1853) gave the first description and designated a type species.

McDermott (1966) listed ten species from either the Philippines or Indonesia. Few are well defined and the genus requires an extensive revision which is not currently possible here. Most are dorsally pale with black tipped elytral apices except for C. plagiata which has dark elytra, and the totally pale C bakeri Pic , C. concolor Olivier and C. miranda Olivier. Colophotia miranda was described with a single recurved appendage on the male terminal abdomen, suggestive of Pygoluciola , and subsequently ( Olivier, 1913a) with 2 appendages. Its status is uncertain and it may have been based on a female. Luciola truncata Olivier, 1886 is known only from a female; McDermott (1966) erroneously assigned it to Colophotia . C. brevis Olivier lacks a median carina between LO halves and its status needs investigation (Ballantyne obs.). Blair’s (1927) description of a C. brevis larva without laterally explanate tergal margins cannot be confirmed.

McDermott (1962:24) described “the apical ventral (abdominal) plate bears two parallel longitudinal hooked carinae with a slot between them through which projects a triangular plate”, and considered figure 23b of the lateral aspect of the abdominal apex showed the "projecting aedeagus" and the "triangular plate". The aedeagus is not visible in this unlabelled figure and McDermott's reference is either to the bifurcate MPP of V7, with its well developed and dorsally curving hooks, or to the posterolateral projections of that ventrite; anterior to these and between the light organ halves is a median (single) carina projecting to the right of the figure. McDermott (1962) incorrectly represented the aedeagus of Colophotia praeusta ; he probably extracted the aedeagus still enclosed in the aedeagal sheath and appears to have figured both.

List of species of Colophotia Motschulsky Sensu McDermott (1966)

- Pic

- brachyura Olivier

- Olivier

- concolor Olivier

- elongata Pic

- miranda Olivier *

- particulariventris Pic

- plagiata Erichson

- praeusta Eschsch.

- truncata Olivier *

- * Species Incertae

Key to species of Colophotia using males

This is a key to the three species scored by Ballantyne and Lambkin (2009), Fu et al. (2012a) and here.

1. Elytra totally pale yellow dorsally; median carina between LO halves.low and wide; apical hooks on MPP strongly asymmetrical; posterolateral corners of T8 strongly prolonged ( Ballantyne and Lambkin 2009 Figs 510–512)....... concolor Olivier Either elytra dark brown with pale lateral and sutural margins (e.g. as in Fig. 92 View FIGURES 92–98 ), or if pale dorsally elytral apices dark brown ( Figs 100, 101 View FIGURES 99–103 ); narrow high median carina present between lightorgan halves ( Figs 102, 103 View FIGURES 99–103 , 107 View FIGURES 104–108 ); apical hooks on MPP not strongly asymmetrical; posterolateral corners of T8 not strongly prolonged ( Ballantyne and Lambkin 2009 Figs 98–105 View FIGURES 92–98 View FIGURES 99–103 View FIGURES 104–108 )... 2

2 Dorsal colour pale brownish yellow with elytral apices dark marked ( Figs 99–101 View FIGURES 99–103 )................... praeusta Eschsch. Dorsal colouration with pale yellow pronotum and brown elytra which are pale margined (as in Fig. 92 View FIGURES 92–98 ).... plagiata Erichson












Colophotia Motschulsky

Ballantyne, Lesley A. & Lambkin, Christine L. 2013


Ballantyne, L. A. & Lambkin, C. L. 2009: 155
Ballantyne, L. A. 1987: 173
Ballantyne, L. A. & McLean, M. R. 1970: 234
Ballantyne, L. A. 1968: 106
McDermott, F. A. 1966: 116
Olivier, E. 1885: 367
Motschulsky, V. de 1853: 51