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Blue Mountains Firefly

 
Introduction:
Beige to pale brown, with large eyes, short antennae and flattened body.
Identification:
Adults are beige to pale brown in colour, with large eyes and short antennae. The body is flattened and the luminescent area can be clearly seen underneath on the abdomen.  Body size up to 0.9 cm.
Max. Size: 0.9 cm
Distribution: eastern Australia
Habitat: Rainforest
Biology:
Despite their common name firefly’s are actually nocturnal flying beetles, belonging to the family Lampyridae. Adults only live for a few days and do not feed (they have no mouthparts) but their larvae generally feed on snails. Larvae hunt by following the slime trail to their prey, which is seized, injected with poison and eaten.  The blinking light comes from segments on the abdomen and is thought to help members of the opposite sex find each other at night. Different species use specific sequences of flashes to attract mates of their own kind. When many individuals of some tropical species gather in bushes and trees, they synchronise their flashes into a spectacular light show that may also serve to confuse potential predators. They have been of interest to humans since ancient times. The first written records of fireflies are from China 2,500 years ago.
Other Common Names:
Family: Lampyridae
Genus: Atyphella
Species: lychnus
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