Glow-worm - Lampyris noctiluca

Alternative names
Glow Worm

The glow-worm is not really a worm at all, in fact it is a beetle. This is most obvious when you see the male. Lampyris noctiluca presents a conspicuous sexual dimorphism. The males are winged, with brown elytra, a clearer pronotum and a large brown spot in the middle, while females are larviforme, wings are missing and they are often twice the size of the males (up to 25 millimetres or 1 inch in length).

Identification difficulty

Low growing vegetation in the evenings. During the day they can be found under stones and logs.

When to see it

Active from May to late August.

Life History

Most noticeable at night in June and July when the female lights up to attract the males by emitting light from the last few segments of her abdomen.

UK Status

Fairly frequent and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent but local in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 246 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map