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Text © K. Reißmann, T. Hörren, M. Stern, F. Bötzl and C. Benisch

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Phosphaenus hemipterus (Goeze, 1777)
Phosphaenus hemipterus
The 6 to 10 mm large European lesser glow worm Phosphaenus hemipterus (family Lampyridae) is the only representative of the genus in Germany. Similar to many species of the family, they are able to produce cold light through bioluminescence, however weaker than its two native sister species. The female is wingless, the male has shortened wings. Contrary to all other 2000 species of Lampyridae, both male and female are flightless. Presumably, the female uses pheromones to attract the male. The larva is up to 10 mm long and feeds on worms. They can be found on pastures, river meadows and at the edges of forests, but also in gardens and parks. The species occurs from the Mediterranean region to the southern part of Northern Europe. It has been in introduced to North America. In Germany, it is regarded as vulnerable (RL 3). (CB)

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