View Full Version : Glow worms
I was in Devon - Totnes, last weekend and saw a glow worm in a grassy meadow, was gobsmacked as I had only ever seen them in the med before.
Has anyone else seen UK glow worms lately ?
Yes, it's about the right time for them now. They are reasonably common in the Cotswolds and the forest of Dean near where I used to live.
Amazing the first time you see them though.
Seen one or two around the Chilterns in previous years, but haven't been out much in the woods after dark just recently. :(
Shed loads of them around Sorrento a couple of weeks back - first time my 10 year old son had seen them - even got one to crawl on his hand so he could have a really good look before letting it go on its way.
Gods, I love sharing the wonder. :D
A few years ago (about ten) there were lots in the Catterick training area,North Yorks.
Not seen them before or since :(
Penhale Sands down Cornwall/Devon way is normally covered in them this time of year. We used collect enough of them in a glass jar so you could read a book at night (just!). Haven't seen any since moving to Scotland though ....... maybe not enough snails/too cold? :(
You should fire off an email to the guy that runs this website:- Glow Worm Survey UK (http://website.lineone.net/~galaxypix/)
As the name suggests he has been compiling data for the last few years on Glow Worm population size/location in the UK. He even has a list (by county (http://website.lineone.net/~galaxypix/counties.html)) of their locations some times with a grid reference ........ I think one or two people maybe out and about searching tonight :D !
We have several good areas for them around here :D
Here's a picture I took last year :cool:
We see quite a few round here, and if you go to somewhere like Badbury Rings (Iron Age Hillfort) you can see them in their hundreds. A friend on mine was out last night over Towards Reading and saw a few in the hedgrows
WE have them in the garden here, a really pleasant surprise to discover them one warm June evening whilst checking the veg patch :)
Apparently they are becoming quite scarce in the UK. A few things I read about them last year; apparently it is the female Glow Worm (Lampyris noctiluca) who is displaying the light to attract a mate. Also they depend on the right sort of grass cover as they lay there eggs on small snails which live in this type of habitat and the larvae feed feeding on the small snails which they apparently paralyse before sucking them empty.
There is a great little site with lots of info here at the
The UK Glow worm Survey Home Page ( http://website.lineone.net/~galaxypix/).
Please take the time to fill in the survey form on the site or email the guy as it is really good work he is doing on these little understood insects. he also has a free online book on the subject or you can buy it from the site here:
Glow-worms by John Tyler (http://website.lineone.net/~galaxypix/Tylerbookpt1.html)
We keep a part of the garden at the top where I do not cut the grass at all until September as a snail sanctuary to encourage the glow worms, and also so I can eat a few of the nice large Bourgoin species which most of my neighbours will be busy collecting after the rains when the season opens. Just fine with garlic butter and a baguette and bottle of vin :D Conservation need not be one way ;)
One thing I would love to see are fireflies.
Thanks guys - have been into the survey website and will do the honours.
Sure is a beautiful country we live in is it not ! :D