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1 March 2012 Thieves in the Night: Kleptoparasitism by Fireflies in the Genus Photuris Dejean (Coleoptera: Lampyridae)
Lynn Faust, Raphaël De Cock, Sara Lewis
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Abstract

Food theft is a common foraging strategy in birds, and many arthropods steal prey trapped by orb-weaving spiders. Some fireflies (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) within the North American genus Photuris Dejean (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) are specialist predators which actively hunt for and sequester chemical defenses (lucibufagins) from other fireflies. Here we present the first description of kleptoparasitic behavior by female Photuris fireflies, which we have observed stealing wrapped fireflies of the genus Photinus Laporte from spider webs. Photuris females thus appear capable of three distinct foraging strategies: hawking, aggressive flash mimicry, and kleptoparasitism. We discuss some factors that might have favored the evolution of kleptoparasitism by this specialist predator.

Lynn Faust, Raphaël De Cock, and Sara Lewis "Thieves in the Night: Kleptoparasitism by Fireflies in the Genus Photuris Dejean (Coleoptera: Lampyridae)," The Coleopterists Bulletin 66(1), 1-6, (1 March 2012). https://doi.org/10.1649/072.066.0101
Received: 4 September 2011; Accepted: 29 December 2011; Published: 1 March 2012
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
food theft
foraging behavior
lucibufagins
Photinus
spiders
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