Glow-worms

all photos © Richard Bottle 2007
Glow-worm
4 August 2007 - we counted 21 glow-worms  in the lanes around Priston.  The female glow-worm produces light to attract males for mating. 
Glow-worm
The glow is generated from the last 3 segments of the flightless female glow-worm., which contain a substance called luciferin, backed by a layer of light-reflecting crystals.   The beetle controls the light by increasing or limiting the flow of oxygen to the luciferin-containing layer, which in turn controls the rate of the breakdown of luciferin by the enzyme luciferinase. Nearly all of the energy of the chemical reaction is converted into light.

The adult beetles take little or no food but the larvae seize small slugs and snails in their jaws and inject a digestive fluid which liquefies the prey ready for eating.

For more information visit the UK Glow-worm Survey.

See the article on the Twerton web-site based on this page.