Comprehensive Description

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General Description

Because of variations across its range, the most recent information describes E. corrusca as a species complex, quite possibly consisting of several species but not sufficiently studied or understood to differentiate between them (Lloyd 2003). Ellychnia corrusca displays the basic Ellychnia characteristics, which distinguish it from other Alberta fireflies. Its body is a uniform black colour except for a pale prothorax, the pronotum bearing a median and two lateral dark vittae (stripes). Some specimens also have parts of the last two abdominal segments slightly pale and yellowed. The species lacks any pale borders on the elytra, and lacks light organs in both male and female. The pronotum is semi-elliptical and lacks translucent windows, the eyes are small and distantly separated on the head, and the first antennal segment is longer than the third, often quite obviously so. Ellychnia corrusca can be distinguished from “western” Ellychnia species (those ranging from the Rocky Mountains west to the Pacific coast) by its brown-grey elytral pubescence, which give the elytra a dusty appearance. Western species have black elytral hairs. Two other “eastern” species of Ellychnia are recognized, both of them small (7mm). Since size appears to be the principal distinguishing characteristic between E. corrusca and the other eastern species, an elytral length of 6.5mm or greater when identifying specimens of E. corrusca was used for this species page. This follows Rooney and Lewis (2000) who used elytral lengths of 6mm or greater in the identification of E. corrusca.

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