Australoluciola pharusaurea, Ballantyne & Lambkin, 2013

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: 58-60

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Australoluciola pharusaurea

sp. nov.

Australoluciola pharusaurea   sp. nov.

[ Figs 83–91 View FIGURES 83–91 ]

Holotype. Male. NEW GUINEA: 4.12S, 152.11E, New Britain, Gazelle Pen., 8.2 miles S. Rabaul, Nov. 23, 1969, J.E. Lloyd (G642) ( ANIC). GoogleMaps  

Paratype s (8). Same locality as holotype, 4 males, female Nov. 23 1969 (G638, 639, 640, 643, 645) ( JELC) GoogleMaps   ; Rabaul, Nov. 24 1969 J.E. Lloyd 3 males, female (G648) ( ANIC)   . Kerevat, 19.Xi.1969, J. Buck 2 females (Tube KE /31 #31/III/21) ( ANIC)   .

Code Name. Luciola   4 ( Lloyd, 1973a).

Diagnosis. Pronotum orange, elytra dull reddish brown; head between eyes yellow; posterolateral corners of V7 rounded, not appearing produced in dried pinned specimens.

Male. 5.5––6.8 mm long. Colour ( Figs 83–86 View FIGURES 83–91 ): pronotum dull deep orange; retraction of fat body beneath cuticle leaving irregularly shaped darker areas; pronotal punctures margined in deeper orange; MS and MN yellow; elytra deep reddish brown, dusky brown on humeral angle, basal 1/4 of epipleuron and basal 1/8 of sutural ridge narrowly dusky orange; (pubescence of dorsal body appears golden yellow under high illumination; if not so illuminated elytral surface appears dull); head between eyes pale clear yellow, semitransparent ( Fig. 85 View FIGURES 83–91 ); labrum light brown; apices of palpi dark brown; scape and pedicel dark red brown, shiny, FS dull dark brown; pro and mesosterna and pleura yellow; coxae, trochanters 1, 2 and femora 1, 2 yellow; tibiae, tarsi and apices of femora 1, 2 dark brown; ventral surface of metathorax medium brown; coxae 3 brown; anterior face trochanters 3 brown, posterior face yellow; femora 3 yellow except for brown apical fourth; remainder of legs 3 brown; basal abdominal ventrites dark brown; V5 dark brown, with irregular white markings across posterior margin ( Fig. 87 View FIGURES 83–91 ); V6 and 7 white; basal abdominal tergites dark brown; terminal 3 tergites very pale brown, semitransparent, T8 narrowly brown along lateral and posterior margins ( Figs 88, 90 View FIGURES 83–91 ); dorsally uprolled lateral margins of V6 and 7 creamy white ( Fig. 88 View FIGURES 83–91 ). Pronotum ( Fig. 84 View FIGURES 83–91 ): 1.6 mm wide, 1.2 mm long; W/L = 1.3; midanterior margin broadly rounded, projecting considerably beyond angulate anterolateral corners; lateral margins subparallel; punctures contiguous over most of disc. Elytra ( Fig. 83 View FIGURES 83–91 ): dull, with dense subcontiguous punctures. Head: GHW 1.3–1.4 mm; SIW 0.2 mm; ASD <ASW. Abdomen ( Figs87, 88 View FIGURES 83–91 ): posterior margin of V7 not trisinuate, posterolateral corners appearing rounded and not produced posteriorly in pinned specimens, and slightly angulate in ethanol preserved specimens; LOs occupying most of V7, reaching sides but not posterior margin; MPP medianly shallowly emarginated or truncate, L=W. T8 ( Fig. 90 View FIGURES 83–91 ): Ventral surface with well developed lateral ridges and short, wide rounded flanges. Aedeagus: prolongation of ML short and wide; lateral margins of LL straight, not expanded along outer ½; apices obliquely truncate; L/W=6.0. Aedeagal sheath ( Fig. 89 View FIGURES 83–91 ).

Female. 4.5 mm long; coloured as for male except for narrowly white posterior margin of V5; white LO in V6 only; V7 pale in median area (due to fat body), dark laterally and along posterior margin; V8 brown. Bursa plates ( Fig. 91 View FIGURES 83–91 ).

Etymology. The specific name, pharusaurea   [pharus (Greek) = lighthouse and aureus (Latin) = golden] emphasizes the pattern of light production observed for one male which "emitted 40 consecutive flashes without an omission" ( Lloyd, 1973a), as well as the golden colour of the head and pronotum.

Remarks. McDermott (1966) recorded only Luciola leucura Olivier   from New Britain, but listed six New Guinea species having orange pronotum, and uniformly dark elytra. All were described with a trisinuate posterior margin to V7, inconsistent with this species. Of these Luciola venusta   and L. timida   may not be from New Guinea and are discussed; Aus. foveicollis   and M. pupilla   are characterised here. Olivier (1885) based Luciola anthracina   on a female; male specimens assigned subsequently ( Olivier, 1913b) were described with trilobed V7 and the ventral surface of the abdomen black except for the white V6 and 7 and white posterior margin of V5 (males are redescribed here). Aus. pharusaurea   differs from Aus. anthracina   in its distribution, ventral colouration, and non trisinuate posterior margin of V7. Luciola ruficollis   was described with black head, V7 trilobed, ventral thorax reddish and ventral abdomen yellow [ Guérin-Méneville (1838)]. McDermott's (1966) reference to Plate XXXV in Girard (1873) for L. ruficollis   is to a species with lateral prolongations of the antennal FS, inconsistent with any known Luciolinae   . Ballantyne (1987a) considered Pteroptyx antennata   and L. ruficollis   could be conspecific. Aus. pharusaurea   differs from L. ruficollis   in its darker ventral colouration and presently known distribution. The latter is not identifiable in collections, and is treated under Species Incertae.

Lloyd (1973a) observed that no more than two males of this species were seen flying at any one time, and that these "emitted series of single short flashes ... with a period of about 0.5 seconds", and he described the pursuit of a flying female by a male. Aus. pharusaurea   is sympatric in New Britain with the orange head Medeopteroptyx effulgens   , males of which flashed "single short flashes at a flash period of about 1.2 secs", contrasting with a flash period of 0.5 secs for Aus. pharusaurea   . These two orange headed species from New Britain are morphologically distinctive, differing in colour, punctation of pronotum and elytra, pronotal outline, and possession of the deflexed elytral apex.


Australian National Insect Collection