; subclass Pterygota, order Coleoptera)
Family of beetles in which the male elytra are soft and pubescent, and the eyes large. Females resemble larvae; the body is elongate, often without wings or elytra, and the eyes small. The antennae are filiform. Larvae are tawny, the body segments are expanded, the head is small and concealed, the mandibles are large. They feed on slugs and snails, which they inject with digestive juices. All stages are luminous, but this is most pronounced in adults; light is produced from the end of the abdomen to signal a mate (compare Elateridae). There are 1700 species.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.