Regional diversity of fireflies of the subfamily Luciolinae (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) in Sri Lanka

W.M.C.D. Wijekoon, H.C.E. Wegiriya & C.N.L. Bogahawatta

Department of Zoology, University of Ruhuna, Matara, Sri Lanka.

ABSTRACT

According to the documented records of the National Museum of Sri Lanka, 63 species of fireflies belonging to 24 genera were recorded in the eighteenth century. Thereafter, no scientific investigations were conducted on the diversity of firefly fauna across Sri Lanka. The present study was conducted to determine the diversity of Luciolinae fireflies in all provinces in Sri Lanka from January to May 2010. Nine Luciola species, namely, L. chinensis, L. melaspis, L. humeralis, L. nicollieri, L. candezei, L. horni, L. intricata, L. antennalis and L. vespertina were identified. L. chinensis was the most widespread and on the whole the most common Luciolinae firefly in Sri Lanka, but there was regional differences in the dominant species. L. nicollieri and L. antennalis were the most abundant firefly species in Uva province while L. melapsis and L. candezei were dominant in Sabaragamuva province. L. chinensis, however, was the most abundant firefly species in the Southern, Western, Eastern, and Northern provinces, whereasL. melaspis was the most abundant firefly species in the Central province. L. humeralis in the North Central province and L. horni in the North Western province. Climatic variation in different regions of Sri Lanka may influence the dominant species of fireflies in different regions.

tags: Firefly, Luciola, distribution, Sri Lanka.