Lampyridae are a family of beetles more commonly known as glow-worms, fireflies and lightning bugs. Light emitted might be red, white, yellow or green and is used to attract a mate.
In the UK, glowworms (Lampyris noctiluca) are widespread and, where they do occur, they can often be found in quite high numbers. It is only the flightless females that emit the light regularly. Males and larvae can also emit light but do so less regularly or as brightly as the females. Males can be attracted to the light from a distance of around 50m away.
The larvae feed on slugs and snails, the adults do not feed at all.
A photograph of a female glow worm (Lampyris noctiluca)
Photograph by Jasja Dekker licensed under Creative Commons.
Other names for (or types of) Lampyridae include:
- Lightning bugs
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