Glowing, going, gone?
Added: 26th June 2012This summer Devon Wildlife Trust is asking people if they have ever seen a glow-worm.
This enchanting fairytale creature is the focus of the charity’s current campaign which asks a simple question: have you seen glow-worms recently or in the past?
Anyone who has ever seen a glow-worm will remember the experience. As two recent wildlife writers captured the experience: ‘The twinkling goblin light of the glow-worm must be one of the most exciting and mysterious sights of the insect world. When they shine like fallen stars among the grass blades, it feels as though you have strayed into a fairy tale.’ (Peter Marren and Richard Mabey, Bugs Britannica, 2010)
However, researchers now fear that the glow-worm’s light may be disappearing from our lives. Growing evidence suggests that the glow-worm is in decline. Once a common nighttime sight across Devon’s meadows, grasslands, grass verges and hedgerows; a combination of increased herbicide/pesticide use and over-zealous grass cutting is believed to have destroyed many glow-worm colonies.
Fortunately, populations of glow-worms remain, scattered across Devon and where they exist they continue to offer one of the most enchanting of all summer wildlife watching experiences.
Steve Hussey of Devon Wildlife Trust said: ‘We’re looking for the public to help us help these wonderful creatures. Please be on the lookout in your area for the glow-worm’s unique green-yellow phosphorescent light. Those planning to go spotting should look in grassy areas. The female glow-worms appear at the end of tall grass stems where they display their glowing abdomen to attract a mate. Glow-worm’s can be seen after dark from May through to September, with a peak of activity in July.’
Devon Wildlife Trust hopes that members of the public will contact them with details of their sightings. It’s set up a special glow-worm survey form online which takes just a couple of minutes to complete at www.devonwildlifetrust.org You can also call Devon Wildlife Trust with details of the location and date of your glow-worm sighting on 01392 279244.
Please remember, if you see a glow-worm leave it where it is for others to enjoy.