you know of any recent sightings of Glow-worms in Cumbria
would be pleased to hear from you - please email using the CONTACT
DETAILS link above.
Glow-worm isn't a worm, but a beetle; females are wingless,
are believed to have declined drastically in the last 50
years. Cumbria has most of the populations of northern Britain;
the species is more widespread in Wales and southern England.
Cumbria, the best sites are in the south of the county on
limestone, but records exist from the west (Ravenglass area),
from around Carlisle and from the CWT reserve at Barkbooth.
stages of the life cycle emit some green light, but females
generate an intense glow to attract mates.
best times to see glowing females is at dusk (10 - 11 p.m.)
in late June and July on warm humid nights.
are larger than males, so they can carry more eggs, but
this means that dispersal to new sites is difficult and
populations have tended to become increasingly isolated.
do not feed much, but the larvae feed on snails, injecting
digestive juices into them. The larvae develop over three
years, spending two winters in hibernation.
are, therefore, most likely to be found on unimproved limestone
areas, railway embankments and church yards.
last three abdominal segments of the female adult have a
layer of luciferin backed by a reflector of minute crystals.
When oxygen and moisture combine with luciferin, light is
emitted; the effect is controlled by switching on and off
the supply of oxygen.
TIMES HAVE CHANGED - FROM THE LANCASTER GAZETTE 28 JUNE 1862
garden in front of the residence of Mr. J.S. Satterthwaite in
Church Walk, Ulverston, is nightly illuminated by a vast number
of glow worms, which shed their peculiar green light upon the
tastefully arranged clumps of flowers, the effect being one
of singular beauty and novelty. The glow worms were, as we understand,
collected by a gentleman of this town, and a similar consignment
sent to an acquaintance in London, the whole of which were gathered
from the hills in the immediate neighbourhood".
a pity street lighting caught on!