Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Winter Dark Firefly (Ellychnia corrusca)

While outside tending the garden the other day, I noticed this bizarre-looking fellow slowly scaling the brick wall. Of course, I had a camera nearby, and of course, I took the opportunity to photograph him (or her).

The Winter Dark Firefly (Ellychnia corrusca) come out in late winter and early spring. They, like the more common fireflies seen in the summer, are bioluminescent. But the Winter Dark Firefly is much larger in size, coming in at about a half-inch or so.

There are several varieties of these lightning bugs, each with different color markings, including black, brown, red, yellow, and orange. Like other members of the beetle family, the Winter Dark Firefly defends itself by unleashing a smelly substance from its legs onto perceived predators.

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