This listing does not replace any other surveys or national databases. Please make your reports to them principally, where they exist.
If you send reports in, please try to give enough information so that others can find the location again, such as a map reference using the official government maps, and give a date or at least a year when the observations were made. However, we do not want to build up a very detailed database – a single observation per year is all that is needed.
Bisamberg(10 km NE of Vienna): 2 or 3 glow worms in garden, June 2001. (Mykola). Also one seen June 2003.
Piesting (lower Austria): many fireflies reported 1990s. (Mykola)
‘I thought I'd let you
know of a very large number of fireflies I've just seen in the Forêt de
Soignes, an extensive area of woodland to the south of Brussels, largely
composed of beech trees.
Sightings were on 23rd and 25th June 2001, at about 11:15pm (a little over an hour after sunset) on both occasions. Clear skies, still air, warm (about 18° C).
First sighting was the more spectacular – there must have been in excess of 100, perhaps many more than that, both flying and on the ground, over quite a large area of the forest (both in areas of open scrubland and amongst the trees).
On the second sighting, there seemed to be fewer, but still very numerous. And this time tended to be confined to clearings or open scrubland. This is the first time I've ever seen fireflies, and so I do not know which species they are. What I can tell you is that:
a) at least as many of the glowing insects were flying as on the ground. I presume that the fliers were male?
b) what appeared to be larvae seemed to be whitish in colour, or at least lighter than the adults, and the glowing seemed to come from distinct points on the rear (I counted four such points of light on one larva). They measured about 10–12 mm in length.
c) there were also adults on the ground, some congregated in groups of two or three (surrounding a female? I couldn't tell). They were brown in colour. Again, about 10-12 mm in length.
d) there seemed to be no difference in intensity or duration of the luminescence when comparing the adults (both the flying ones and those on the ground) and the larvae. (duration of glow was at least 15 secs, possibly more).’ (Paul Wheeler)
Raphaël de Cock comments on this report:
I know about the population in the Zonien Woud (Forêt de Soignes). It is the study population for my PhD on glow-worms.
The species is Lamprohiza
splendidulaor Kleine glimworm (little glow-worm) in Dutch. The whitish
"larvae" are the females! The larvae look similar but are brown.
I know they occur in Groenendaal and Bosvoorde. I did not see them in Tervuren and Rood Klooster. By the way: in Zonien also occurs the common glow-worm (Lampyris noctiluca) and the little glow-worm (Phosphaenus hemipterus; kortschildglimworm in Dutch)
The Amsterdam Forest has no artificial lighting, not on its foot or bicycle paths either, however it is surrounded by oceans of light; Schiphol Airport and its runways, the many greenhouses (roses and other flowers) and the sports grounds (hockey/football fields). The Forest seems to be large enough for this glow worm population not to be disturbed by these surrounding lights?
The glow worms are easiest to be seen in the darker sections, especially when there are no clouds, no moon, and in the sections covered by the tree tops. Once there, you can find yourself suddenly and literally surrounded by them - it happened to me (once again), yesterday (8th Oct 2010) – Petra
‘Thought you might like some info on glow-worms I spotted in France on 24 June this year . We share a French property just a short distance from the town of Trun in Calvados and I was taking an evening stroll along a quiet country lane with just a few remote farms littered here and there. Being quite dark by the time I was returning almost the whole hedgerow along this road was lit up by glow-worms. The sight was quite breathtaking. I stopped to count and gave up at 350. I recall seing glow-worms in my youth during the 1950s – it was my father’s joy to tell us that the glow-worms were back in the garden and summer was at last here.’ – Ken Rimell
‘We moved into our present house in La Ferte Alais, some 40 km south of Paris, earlier this year . Two nights ago, sitting on the balcony, I was surprised to see a tiny green light in the middle of the lawn. It was, of course, a glow worm, the first time I had ever seen one. The garden is within a built up area covered by street lighting, but shaded by five large trees which means the lawn is of poor quality so I don't cut it too close. The glow worm was against the side of a stone slab which forms an inspection cover for our house drains. I watched it for a while again last night, the green light varied in intensity in cycles lasting several minutes.’ – Pete Harlow
The intensity changes are probably due to her moving her tail to improve visibility. Or, as Chuck Berry puts it in ‘Roll Over Beethoven’:
You know she wiggles like a glow worm
Dance like a spinnin' top
From Lansac, Pyrénées-Orientales, (40 km from Perpignan), Clare writes: ‘apparently, here, they used to be numerous along the sides of the local track up through the vineyards but no more, I hear from locals. So am very pleased that one has re-appeared in my garden. One female, seen about 10 pm 3 nights 29-6-07, 30-06-07, 1-07-07...clinging to asphodel stem or in the undergrowth below it. No water source nearby. Dry Mediterranean climate. About 25-32º C during day, about 12-17º evening in June/July. Previously I had only seen them in Vienna in about 1972, on the Prater (park).’
Saint-Martin-des-Combes, between Perigueux and Bergerac, Dordogne. 20 glows in rough grass, August 2009. -- Rosemary
We saw three glow worms in the garden of the house at the edge of the grass and the laurel hedge that we stayed in in northern Brittany, France, (just returned home today) near Matignon. They were glowing certainly from the 30th July through to about the 3rd August, but we didn't see them after 4th August. On the way back from the beach fireworks late on the Saturday 31st, my daughter and husband saw a lot more in the hedges. -- Brenda
Can anyone help
by suggesting what Stephen saw? Maybe the following press release from New
Mexico State University is relevant (copied from http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/news/1998/100298_GLOWWORM.html):
Glowworms Sighted in Southern New MexicoDate: October 02, 1998
Contact: Carol Sutherland, (505) 646-3207, Jenifer Schlotfeldt, (505) 646-1072,
Las Cruces -- People who have noticed eerie, blue-green lights the size of pinpoints in the grass at night may have witnessed a rare sighting of New Mexico glowworms, said an entomologistwith New Mexico State University. Glowworms have mainly been sighted in Las Cruces, Alamogordo and Lincoln from Augustthrough October.
"Glowwormsare insects -- a very unusual group of beetles that are native to thisarea," said Carol Sutherland with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service. "They're luminescent. They produce light biologically." Electric light bulbs produce almost 90 percent heat and 10 percent light when they are lit, she said. But luminescent insects like glowworms produce almost no heat and nearly 100 percent light. Their bodies produce luciferin, a substance that combines with an enzyme plus oxygen to produce the light.
A healthy, active glowworm can glow during the day, but its light is
only visible in the dark, Sutherland explained. The beetles seem to be
most active at night, while they hide in grass, mulches and leaf litter
and under logs and dead bark during the day.
"For all of their interesting features and behavior, very little is known about these odd little beetles," Sutherland said. Glowworms are part of the few native insects to the area that light up. Entomologists like Sutherland have been trying to collect the insects for their records. To help, amateur collectors should look at night in grassy or weedy areas. Once glowworms have been spotted, collectors just have to pick them up, Sutherland said.
"Glowworms are too tiny to bite humans and they are harmless to handle," she added. Live specimens are preferred. Once caught, the insects should be put in a small container with a piece of paper towel that has a drop of water on it. If dead specimens are collected, they should be placed in a small container of rubbing alcohol.
Collected glowworms can be sent to Sutherland at the Extension Plant Sciences Department, Box 30003, MSC 3AE, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8003, or delivered to room 130 Gerald Thomas Hall on the NMSU campus.
‘On May 17th 2001 I had an
opportunity to find a glow worm at the top of the Grand Canyon at Havasupai,
Arizona. At the top of the canyon on May 17th it was very quiet with no
other people around except the party of (4) that I was with. This is a remote
area where people arrange to hike down into the Grand Canyon – an awesome
sight. We arrived in the evening and sat out in our camping chairs to view the
awesome sight – absolutely quiet!
All of a sudden I spotted a glow on the pavement (the paved area is directly below a sheer wall that has many caves). I thought it might be a reflective glass. Upon looking closer, it began to move. At this point we took out our flashlight and observed it more closely under the light and thought it looked much like a small centipede. We did not know what it was and had never seen anything quite like it.
I began to walk a great distance up and down the side of the canyon top to see if I could see more of these unique creatures but this was the only one.
Is it rare to see these in Arizona? All the information on websites about glow worms state they are sighted in Australia and the UK. I also thought it odd that it was the only one around.’ – Trish Martin
I’m very curious about these creatures, as not a whole lot seems to be known about them. Since they have no commercial importance the entomology dept. at the local university (Oregon State University) hasn't really researched them much. But they are fun to find and to point out to my young daughter if nothing else. – Arne’
Innocent Walk, Shasta, Jones Valley, CA , 2 female glow worms seen 11 pm, 22 June 2004 – Dann Mann
Our house is near some abandoned fields, which is from what I've heard a typical location to find glow worms. Its also near our toilet where we've used chalk a lot. My family and I haven't actually touched the place for almost a decade until recently when I moved here with my girlfriend. When I last saw the glow worms in the seventies, one of them laid eggs on a rock. They glowed faintly for several days. I remember this clearly because I thought it was glow worm-poop....
The nature here is special, with lots of more or less unattended forest areas. Even bears have been reported nearby. Our lot is bordering on forest or old cattle fields on three sides. Last night was remarkably dark (due to the dense forest and the weather) although it’s just a week after midsummer . ’ – Ove.
I've described the general lay of the land, but other information that may be interesting to you is that the weather conditions were warm (20 degrees C and higher), and generally dry. There was a storm one night, and we hadn't seen any fireflies prior to the lightning commencing. The dates we observed them were between 12th and 16th of June, 2003, between 10pm and about midnight (the fireflies didn't stop, we did!).’ – Jeremy Wickens
‘I would like to report the sighting of a glow worm in my garden in Braga (northern Portugal) tonight.’ -- Anabela, 16 June 2004
‘I saw on 30 April 2005, 3 female glow worms, in a arden in the darker areas, under a bush and on the herbs, in Lisbon . The weather conditions were mild around 18 degrees celsius at 22.00 pm. Breezy conditions. A few days later ( 5 May) saw there more 2 females.