Belongs to: beetles

Glow-worm Lampyris noctiluca


Best time to see: late Jun to late Jul

Key facts

A type of beetle whose wingless females emit a greenish light from the end of their abdomen to attract males

Their young (which look very like the females) feed on snails

Widespread in Britain but local in distribution, preferring grassy banks and heaths

Recognition

Mainly nocturnal, and best detected by the pale green light produced by females in June and July

Female is roughly twice the size of the male

Lifecycle

Larvae live under stones and logs, feeding on small slugs and snails, which they inject with digestive fluid to liquefy them

Lifecycle may take one, two or occasionally three years

Adult beetles take very little food and usually survive only a month or two after mating

  • Main photo
  • mating

Photo © Phil Luke

Photo © Phil Luke