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Home // Research grants // Our internship projects // Glow worms and street lights

Glow worms and street lights

Female glow worms glow to attract male mates. But in areas with too much light pollution, can they find each other?

The latin name for a glow worm – Lampyridiae – means shiny one! Also known as fireflies or lighting bugs, glow worms are actually beetles.

Glow worms prefer to live on grassy slopes, verges and hedge-banks, on heaths and in open grassland, especially in chalky and limestone areas.

Female glow worms use bioluminescence to attract a male mate in the summer months.

Glow worms are under threat and one reason might be because of light pollution. In areas with street lights, male glow worms will find it more difficult to find glowing females if it isn’t properly dark. And if it’s too bright some females might not bother to glow at all. Joseph Baker, at the University of Sussex, is looking into the problem.

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