American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. See firefly.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A firefly or phosphorescent beetle of the family Lampyridæ, related to the European glow-worms. Two common species are Pyractomena angulata and P. borealis. The genera Phengodes, Zarhipis, Microphotus, and Pleotomus have more or less wingless, degraded, larviform females, which are luminous in abdominal patches. The males of the same genera are winged, and resemble the common lightningbugs, giving a more or less intense flash-light. Another lightning-bug of the eastern United States is Photuris pennsylvanica, about half an inch long, of a yellowish color with a few ill-defined lines of black or brown; both sexes have wings and long elytra, and the luminous larva has a brush-like anal leg. A third species, common in parts of the Mississippi valley, is Photinus pyralis, which has blackish-brown elytra margined with pale yellow, and a yellow prothorax with a central black spot. The two last-named belong to the subfamily Lampyrinæ.
- n. Another name for the firefly.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) a luminous beetle. See Firefly.
- n. nocturnal beetle common in warm regions having luminescent abdominal organs
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