LAMP YRIS, in natural history,frefiy, a genus of insects of the order Coleoptera. Antenna; filiform ; four feelers; shells flexile ; thorax flat, semi-orbicular, sur rounding and concealing the head ; seg ments of the abdomen terminating in folded papillze: female usually apterous. There are nearly sixty species, in four divisions, viz. A. feelers subclavate : B. fore-feelers hatchet-shaped : C. feelers sub-filiform : D. first joint of the feelers thicker and truncate. The first of these divisions is subdivided into those which have entire horny lips ; and into those with an emarginate membranaceous lip. The body of the insect in this genus is oblong, with the sides formed into a kind of soft papilke, lapping over each other. L. noctiluca, or glow-worm, is seen during the summer months, in England, on dry banks, about woods, pastures, and hedge ways, exhibiting, as soon as it is dusk, vivid and phosphoric splendour, in form of a round spot of considerable size. The animal itself, which is the female insect, measures about three quarters of an inch in length, and is of a dull, earthy brown colour on the upper parts, and beneath more or less tinged with rose colour, with the two or three last joints of the body of a pale or whitish sulphur colour. It is from these parts that the
phosphoric light proceeds. The body, exclusive of the thorax, consists of ten joints. The larva and pupa do not great ly differ from the complete insect, but the phosphoric light is strongest in the complete animal. The male is smaller than the female, and is provided with wings and wing-sheaths : it is very un common ; and it is not determined whether it be luminous or not Naturalists have commonly supposed, that the splendour of the female is designed for the purpose or attracting the male. In Italy, the fly ing glow-worm is extremely common ; and it is said that, on grand occasions, ladies use them as ornaments for their head-dresses in evening parties.