ZooKeys 29: 35-47, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.29.279
The European lesser glow worm, Phosphaenus hemipterus (Goeze), in North America (Coleoptera, Lampyridae)
Christopher Majka, J. MacIvor
Abstract Phosphaenus hemipterus (Goeze) is a Palaearctic glow worm (Coleoptera: Lampyridae), previously been reported in North America on the basis of two specimens; one collected in 1947 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; the other in 1989 in Montreal, Quebec. The present study newly records it from three sites in Halifax, Nova Scotia. One hundred and twenty six adult males and larvae were collected in 2009 in disturbed urban grassland areas, similar to habitats in England and Belgium where the species has been investigated. Experiments confirm that larvae feed on earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris), consistent with observations in Europe. The habitat is described, including vegetation, potential predators, and prey. Although ballast-shipments have previously been proposed as a vector for the species’ introduction to North America, the present study suggests that the importation of agricultural and horticultural products, which has lead to the introduction of many earthworms to the continent, could also serve as a conduit for the introduction of obligate earthworm predators such as the larvae of P. hemipterus. Although an adventive species, possible conservation concerns are discussed for a species that is considered endangered in parts of its native range.