The new subfamily Sinopyrophorinae within Elateridae is proposed to accommodate a bioluminescent species, Sinopyrophorus schimmeli Bi & Li, gen. et sp. nov., recently discovered in Yunnan, China. This lineage is morphologically distinguished from other click-beetle subfamilies by the strongly protruding frontoclypeal region, which is longitudinally carinate medially, the pretarsal claws without basal setae, the hind wing venation with a well-defined wedge cell, the abdomen with seven (male) or six (female) ventrites, the large luminous organ on the abdominal sternite II, and the male genitalia with median lobe much shorter than parameres, and parameres arcuate, with the inner margin near its apical third dentate. Molecular phylogeny based on the combined 14 mitochondrial and two nuclear genes supports the placement of this taxon far from other luminescent click-beetle groups, which provides additional evidence for the multiple origin of bioluminescence in Elateridae . Illustrations of habitus and main diagnostic features of S. schimmeli Bi & Li, gen. et sp. nov. are provided, as well as the brief description of its luminescent behavior.