The Q&A Archives: Lampyris noctiluca Glow Worms

Question: I've only seen 4 glow worms in my life. The web search I did says they eat snails. Do they eat slugs? Are they common in Ohio? Can you find the worms only once per 3 years if that is their life cycle? Are they a great benefit to my garden? How do I encourage them? I've never looked for/seen the adult beatle. What do they eat? What is the season they glow?

Answer: The Michigan State University Bulletin at this address
talks about fireflies/lightning bugs, which are actually beetles. The females and larvae are "glow worms". The larvae do eat other insects, slugs and snails. Their preferred habitat is wild meadows and overgrown pastures, so I don't think you'd want to let your garden and lawn fall into disarray in order to attract them! They tend to glow only during the early summer, as a way to communicate during the mating season. You can find out more about them by searching the World Wide Web using the family name Lampyridae. I found a photo of Lampyris noctuida at this URL

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