Florida Entomologist 81(3) September, 1998

Behavioral Ecology Symposium '97: Lloyd

ALR 1998 Figures 1-12

all photos by J.E. Lloyd/UF

Fig. 1. A view southeast along the gravel highway and upstream toward the Highlands. The Rio Grande River flows in the valley between the Blue Mountains and the John Crows.

Fig. 2. Curved spikes on a jointers tree with feeding or sipping P. pallens.

Fig. 3. A flashing Photinus pallens hanging and being wrapped in a spider web. The flashes of single fireflies in webs or on the ground, and even continuous emissions of light as from a flashlight attract P. pallens.

Fig. 4. A patch of grass atop a hill above the Rio Grande River, where a few P. pallens gathered and flashed one evening. Apparently swarms that form at sites without many flowers do not become large nor long endure.

Fig. 5. Flashing Photinus pallens at flowers on a spike in the grass.
Though a few fireflies were attracted, large swarms were not seen
at such sites.

Fig. 6. A view of the ginger lily patch. Samples of flashing fireflies in this field indicate that 2000 or more may have been present. Note the red plastic tags here and there. These mark flower spikes that were periodically sampled for firefly sexual activity.

Fig. 7. A tagged ginger lily spike number 10, in the series of spikes
that was sampled for sexual activity.

Fig. 8. A mounted P. pallens male with extended aedeagus probing
the abdomen tip of his mate to be.

Fig. 9. The male in 8 and 9 (above) with partially inserted aedeagus.
This connection seemingly indicates mate acceptance and requires
the mechanical cooperation of both, though it is of course conceivable
that males have some coercive leverage or that females can avoid using
sperm that males have injected into them.

Fig. 10. The connection (initiated in 8 and 9 above) is now complete,
judging from external appearances, though inside the female's
reproductive tract there certainly are other significant events unfolding.

Fig. 11. A pair partially rotated to a tail-to-tail position.

Fig. 12. A pair has now completed rotation to a tail-to-tail position.
Such pairs sometimes leave their flowers, where their lengthy(?)
association presumably began, and remain on nearby leaves and
bracts. Note the sexual difference in light organ topography.