Mission Statement. To record local colonies and provide information to encourage local interest in this declining species.Glow-worm by Chris Robbins

 

Glow worms (Lampyris noctiluca) are a species of beetle. Only the male has wings and can fly. The female attracts a mate by means of a green glow at the tip of her abdomen, which she shines into the sky.  To us the light is as bright as an 'led' on electronic equipment. Click on image to see larger picture. After mating she dies soon afterwards. It takes around two to three years for the hatched eggs to develop into adult glow worms, during which time, they survive by eating mostly snails, which are paralised and them emptied. The larvae, that can be seen during the day at certain stages in their development, also can produce a weak light.

The time to see glow worms in action, is in the hours of darkness from mid-May to late July, with June and July being the best months. The place to look is at ground level or waist height on disused railway lines, woodland rides, hedgerows, unimproved open grassland or  heathland. The presence of small snails is a requirement.

Only  ten sites in Britain  have nightly maximum counts around 100. It is important to locate significant sites, so that some protection can be provided.

Status: Possible factors in survival are discussed by Robin Scagell. Fragmentation is believe to be important. There is insufficient information to draw firm conclusions on whether or not they are in decline. Numbers in a given site often vary widely from year to year, so it is important for us to log all sites and observe these sites, year by year.

Glow Worm Projects. We would like to get a an idea of the distribution of Glow Worms in our local area. Using the above notes, it is hoped to increase the number of casual recordings and then to use the National Glow Worm Survey method on as many colonies as possible

More on the Glow of the Female

* The Female is unable to turn the light on or off at will - it is triggered by dark
* The larvae also glow, but more faintly
* Artificial lights (street lights, security lights etc) are believed to distract the males

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