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Keywords:Pyractomena borealis, bark sturgeon, beetle, coleoptera, crum woods, firefly, lampyridae, larva, lightning bug, mandibles, protractable, protractible, retractable, swarthmore
Pyractomena borealis mouthparts

Pyractomena borealis mouthparts

Close-up of the protractible head of a Pyractomena borealis larva. The telescoping head allows the larva to inject (via curved, hollow mandibles) a numbing agent into snails that have withdrawn into coiled shells. The antennae and maxillae are also partially retractable. When a larva is done feeding on a snail (or slug or earthworm) it will de-slime all of these parts with the hooked, fingerlike projections of the holdfast organ located on the last abdominal segment.