By Joseph Attfield, Farm Wilder
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
An adult glow-worm can grow up to 25mm long (that's about the length of your thumbnail) with the females generally being larger than the males. Other than the size difference, you can spot a female due to their 'bioluminescence' that produces a glow which the insects are known for.
While males are also capable of emitting a small glow, the most notable difference between the two is that males develop wings whereas females do not.
This can make it challenging to differentiate an adult female glow-worm from a glow-worm larva, but the easiest way to tell the two apart is by carefully looking at their body segments. Glow-worm larvae will have light spots on either side of each body segment which helps identify which stage of life it's at.
WHAT'S FOR DINNER?
Glow-worms do all their eating as larvae and feed on slugs and snails by injecting their digestive juices into their prey and drinking the digested remains (similar to how a spider feasts on its prey).
Since adult glow-worms choose to spend all of their energy mating, they do not develop mouthparts and therefore don't eat any food!
WHERE TO FIND ME
Glow-worms are mainly native to areas of Wales, the South of England and some areas of Scotland. In particular, they inhabit grassland and woodland edges.
The best time to spot a glow-worm is during the summer, specifically late June and early July. Look out for bright lights after it has become completely dark outside. The less artificial light there is in the area, the higher the chance you'll see a glow-worm.