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Glimmering Glow-worms

We have some exciting news from the glimmering world of Glow-worms.

At Wilder Doddington we have been considering which species ought to be here but have disappeared over recent years. Should we encourage them back? What habitat and food sources would they need? One creature we have been thinking about is the Glow-worm. Records show that they used to be in the area, but no sightings have been reported for years. Have they definitely vanished from the area? Should we plan to reintroduce this wondrous insect?

After receiving some advice on habitats and surveying methods, Wilder Ranger Heather and a small band of volunteers set out late one evening to see if any Glow-worms were still calling Doddington their home. Surveying involves finding a likely area for Glow-worms and walking in the darkness peering into the grasses to see if you can spot a green glow. To our delight we found two glowing females and several males right on our doorstep! We will continue to monitor these Glow-worms and survey other areas.

💡 The Glow-worm, Lampyris noctiluca, is not a worm at all, but is a beetle up to 25mm long. Only the wingless female glows strongly, to attract the flying males. The glow comes from a large, light-producing organ at the end of their abdomen, and the light is produced via a chemical reaction.

💡 Each individual female has an adult glowing life of no more than a few weeks until she mates, since she dies soon after laying her eggs. About 99% of a Glow-worm’s life is spent as a larva. The larvae feed on small snails which they paralyse before consuming them.

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