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Volume 2010, Article ID 149879, 5 pages
Research Article

Larval Feeding Habits of the Cuban Endemic Firefly Alecton discoidalis Laporte (Coleoptera: Lampyridae)

1Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba, Vicedirección Curatorial, Obispo No. 61, esq. Oficios, Plaza de Armas, Habana Vieja, 10100 La Habana, Cuba
2Grupo de Invertebrados, Departamento de Zoología, Instituto de Ecología y Sistemática, Carretera de Varona, Capdevila, Boyeros, AP. 8029, 10800 La Habana, Cuba

Received 24 May 2010; Accepted 4 July 2010

Academic Editor: Martin H. Villet

Copyright © 2010 Ormaily Madruga Rios and Maike Hernández Quinta. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Alecton Laporte, 1833, with four known species is the only firefly genus endemic to Cuba. Alecton discoidalis Laporte, 1833, is its most common species, distributed in the western half of the country. Unfortunately, much of its life history remains unknown, as with the rest of Cuban representatives of the family Lampyridae. Larvae are associated with adults of A. discoidalis through rearing, and observations on larval feeding habits of this species are presented. Thirteen species belonging to seven gastropod families are reported for the first time as prey of A. discoidalis larvae. Our data suggest that these are generalist predators of terrestrial snails. A remarkably close association exists between this lampyrid and operculate species of snails. The later represents the most abundant and diverse group of molluscs in limestone landscapes, where the beetles are commonly found.