Glow Worm Surveys

Andover and the surrounding villages have quite a few small Glow Worm colonies. Some of these have been unusual in being located near bright light sources, which for Glow Worms is not good as they have to compete with car lights with their glow. There are two species of Glow Worms in the UK, one very rare, and both are declining.

During the Summer months we have been trying to map where the glow worms are locally, re-survey areas with historic records, and hopefully get a group of volunteers to monitor their numbers annually.

Glow Worms are beetles and tend to frequent Chalk and limestone areas where there is a plentiful supply of their food, small snails. They can be found in a variety of habitats, but prefer open grassland. They do not like improved land which could be one of the reasons for their decline.

glow-worm-lampyris-noctiluca-09-7-10-old-burclere-lime-quarry-female-2  Female Glow Worm finding a glowing position to attract the flying male

They are found glowing between May-September, sometimes even in October if warm enough. Locally they have been know to glow around 10-10.30pm onwards. The females are flightless and glow to attract the flying males to them. The larvae also glow so can cause some confussion, and also other insects can glow like centipedes, so you have to take care when surveying them.

glow-worm-lampyris-noctiluca-15-7-16-anton-lakes-2

glow-worm-lampyris-noctiluca-15-7-16-anton-lakes-5A female glowing

The main time to survey for Glow Worms is in June/July when they are at their peak.

If you wish to get involved them please contact Graeme Davis via the TARCA email address, or Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/118779266030/

glow-worm-lampyris-noctiluca-26-5-11-rooksbury-mill-a303-underpass-male-2A male Glow Worm

Often Glow worm surveys are put on adhoc due to weather conditions on our Facebook page. Please be aware also that the survey will take place late at night and touches will be needed.

Due to the unpredictable nature of weather and glow worms there is no guarantee of seeing them on some of the nights we go out. Also some of the sites we are surveying are historic and need several visits to see if glow worms are present, in some cases they may have become locally extinct.

glow-worm-lampyris-noctiluca-26-5-16-happy-valley-harwood-forest-larvae-2Glow Worm larvae

All our survey data will feed into the UK Glow Worm survey. Further information on this and Glow Worms can be found here:

http://www.glowworms.org.uk/

 

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