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Glow Worms

We have Glow Worms at the reserve - and they are doing very well! For more details contact Ann Bowker.

Here are Ann's records of glow worms since 2001:

Year Female glow worms
2009 48
2008 56
2007 114
2006 19
2005 15
2004 9
2003 45
2002 56
2001 20
 
Chart of glow worm numbers
 
We've know about the glow worms on the site ever since the reserve opened - they started in the north west part of the reserve in a damp area with low brambles. Since then the have spread out to cover an increasingly large area.

About the glow worms

They are beetles about 25mm long and although the larvae can glow intermittently every 1-2 seconds, the adult females are the ones most likely to be seen, as they glow for up to 5 hours per night. The best time is about 11pm.

The glowing is used to attract a mate and can last for up to 5 weeks, sometime between late May and early September.

Glow worms spend a few weeks as an egg, then between 1 to 2 years as a larve. After pupation they spend only a few weeks as an adult. The males can fly but the females cannot.

Preferred Habitats

The habitats they like vary depending on which stage they are in their lifecycle. The larve need a good supply of snails, slugs and long grass with shelter for overwintering. The adult females need more open grassland for display, such as grass paths, but need long grass at other times.

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