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Glow-worm numbers!!! please help

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Forum Name: Associated Fauna and Flora
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Topic: Glow-worm numbers!!! please help
Posted By: Herpetologic
Subject: Glow-worm numbers!!! please help
Date Posted: 07 Nov 2003 at 12:53am

Hello to everyone

I would like to find out more about glowworm numbers found under reptile refugia. I have recently been told about a reptile translocaiton in Essex where hundreds of glowworms (larva) were found and moved to the reptile receptor site. I dont have any more details on this site though.

I have counted a maximum count of 12 larva under black felt (Kent) and maximum count of 9 under corrugated iron tins (Reading).

Collegues of mine have also found glowworms under roofing felt in another site in Kent.

I would like to know if anyone has noted any numbers of glowworm larva under refugia in their reptile surveys this information would be very useful.

 

regards

Jon

 

PS Lee dont worry the reptile records from Kent. These will be sent to you in due course!!!




Replies:
Posted By: Herpetologic
Date Posted: 07 Nov 2003 at 1:08am

Pictures of Glowworms (seen in Greece though 2003)

1. glowworm larva found on concrete wall while out looking for lizards

 

Male - found dead in swimming pool

female (glowing at night)

 

 



Posted By: administrator
Date Posted: 07 Nov 2003 at 7:51am

Jon,

Largest count I've had in Kent was 5 (10/10/03 09:41). This was under a carpet tile from a previous survey at the site.

I've also recorded individuals under tin and roofing felt.



Posted By: Phil Davidson
Date Posted: 08 Nov 2003 at 5:36pm

I've had individuals under felts in Hampshire and East Sussex, but never more than 1 per felt and no more than ten in total on either site, despite each site having approximately 200 felts out. Hampshire site was unimproved species rich grassland/meadow, Sussex site was FC land, with mixed plantation, interspersed with areas of dry lowland heath/heathy grassland.

 

Phil



Posted By: Skywalker
Date Posted: 10 Nov 2003 at 10:50pm
Jon

Nothing on refugia for you but at a site in Kent where I worked as warden for a number of years there were always large numbers of Lampyris. local recordes got all 'goose pimply' about the numbers and it seemed that they were most pleased about the locations on site whose aspect facilitated moist warm conditions. I don't want to make a story out of nothing but it seems to me that the gradient of temp' v humidity we use under refugia could do well for lampyris also.

One question, what was the geology of the donor site and where any records taken of the other environentsal foctors there, these appear crucial to lamphris colony success and sustainability, at least in terms of adults. Although as I understand it knowledge of the larval ecology of this species is very subjective at best and so the translocation may have achieved very little in the conservation of this species.

Another thing that occurs to me is to check which species they were as if if was Phosphaenus there will be a bit more interest in what may have been found. See the 'UK Glow Worm Survey Home Page' for some more info and help.





-------------
Simon (KRAG)


Posted By: Herpetologic
Date Posted: 11 Nov 2003 at 9:09am

The translocation exercise was undertaken on a parcel of land within Grays, South Essex. The geology is I understand is 'chalk' the development is within old chalk quarries.

The donor site is within one of the retained quarries, its called Warren Gorge and it will be managed by Essex Wildlife Trust. I was told by the consultant about the hundreds of glowworms translocated with the reptiles.....it will be interesting to see if glowworms are living within Warren Gorge.......along with the translocated reptiles

I am looking at testing refugia (materials and sizes) next year for their effectiveness for glowworm larva survey. This will greatly increase the amount of time that glowworms can be surveyed within sites especially relating to distribution of larva and adults within a particular site something that Robin (glowworm recorder) suggested.

I understand that in Norfolk Nick Meade has possibly found a male under a felt tile.

 

Regards

Jon

 

 

 



Posted By: Herpetologic
Date Posted: 11 Nov 2003 at 9:14am

 

Oh and another thing the site in question is the Chafford Hundred Development of over 7,000 homes!!! this started around 12 to 13 years ago and only in 2001 did they translocate some reptiles

It is rather like the developments on the other side of the thames in kent

Jon

 



Posted By: Paramesotriton
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2006 at 12:13pm
Bit of a late reply - apologies, just joined and have been reading the posts!  In May 2005, I had a maximum of three Glowworm larvae under a felt on a site just north of Newbury, in Berkshire.


Posted By: herpetologic2
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2006 at 6:07pm

 

Thank you Para'

I have undertaken a relocation of glowworms near Newbury - I collected over 60 larva and moved them a few hundred yards into similar habitat - I still have the roof felt out on the site for monitoring slowworms/grass snakes and of course the Glowworms

So far I have found Glowworms in the following counties

Essex (1 site), Kent (2 sites), Hampshire (4 sites) Berkshire (1 site)

Surrey (1 site) - all under reptile refugia - during the year when there are no glowing females

I am really getting into the little fellas - measuring them - pronotum to provide sex ratios in the populations I am finding - very interesting

 

Jon



Posted By: Mick
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2006 at 10:17pm

Jon.

No idea really to what degree they're in Oxfordshire, but about 11y'rs ago i came across one in the meadowy-like grassy undergrowth of BBONT's reserve at Sydlings Copse, just north-east of Oxford. From what i recall i was quite taken with some of the sporadic, pretty little flowers & was down on my hands'n'knees mooching about & somehow i just came across the little thing. Not too into bugs back then, like now, so, naughty, or not, i curiously brought it back home to i.d. (knowing i'd be back the following week to further look around that reserve (& release the 'thing' back) & a couple of other reserves n'r Oxford.) Anyway, back home i put it in glass jar with some bits of grass & left it in the kitchen. Realising much later that night that i'd completely forgotten about bothering to get a book, or two, out to try & i.d. the thing i wandered back to the kitchen & was just about to flick the kitchen light on when that jar, resting in the kitchens semi-darkness, suddenly grabbed my attention! Well, actually, spooked me would be more precise, because of course there was a weird little light (sure was bluey green(?)) somehow coming from within the jar! It quickly dawned on me what i'd earlier suspected i just might have on my hands, but this spooky little, glowy arsed thing pretty much confirmed matters for me! I just remember thinking how perfectly electric lit it looked & yet it wasn't battery powered & neither was it plugged in!...Cool! After releasing the clever little thing i've never searched for, or seen a Glow Worm since, & i've never been at that reserve 'till dusk, or nightfall. I reckon i might ask a couple of village friends from out that way if they've ever seen Glow Worms around.   



Posted By: Paramesotriton
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2006 at 4:13am

I've also seen some in Essex near Colchester, only adult females though.

Sorry I've misunderstood your post I think Jon, are you measuring the pronotum of the larva to find sex ratios?



Posted By: herpetologic2
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2006 at 11:42am

 

Yep

 

Jon



Posted By: herpetologic2
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2006 at 11:54am

 

The larger the pronotum the most likely it will be a female - therefore you get the age class 1st, 2nd and 3rd years it seems a good spilt between the two sizes may relate to the sexes of the larva - hence sex ratio of capture animals

I also collected around 15 larva and I reared them on in a tank - they laid eggs and I actually got quite a few eggs - and reared on the larva for release at the site wher ethey were collected.

 

Heres is a white larva - just hatched (above) placed on a penny

Here is a normal coloured larva - placed on a 5pence piece

 

I have an account of all the larva captured but I havent got the info to hand - I will ge tthis together and show you the results

 

Regards

 

Jon

 



Posted By: Mick
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2006 at 1:11pm
Yeh, that 2nd pic's like the one i encountered at that BBONT reserve. At first glance i thought it kind've resembled a bigger, plainish Ladybird larva, but that's me!


Posted By: herpetologic2
Date Posted: 15 Mar 2006 at 12:14pm

Here are some pronotum measurements from a population of glowworms in Berkshire. The 20 larva which measure over 3mm (width of pronotum) are more likely to be female while the 2mm are possibly males or larva in their second year - the 1 to 1.5mm are in their first year. These were all relocated from a works area last year into adjacent habitat - all larva were found under roofing felt tiles

 

 



Posted By: herpetologic2
Date Posted: 15 Mar 2006 at 12:18pm

 

As shown in following picture



Posted By: Vicar
Date Posted: 15 Mar 2006 at 1:30pm

Is this one Jon ? Didn't know what it was, so took a picture. Under a tin at Pirbright, Surrey last weekend.



-------------
Steve Langham - Chairman     mailto:steve@surrey-arg.org.uk">
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group


Posted By: herpetologic2
Date Posted: 15 Mar 2006 at 5:53pm

 

Yep thats a glowworm larva alright

 

Jon



Posted By: *SNAKE*
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2006 at 7:05pm
i saw 8 glow worms 2 years ago & a few males near a golf course near denham http://photobucket.com/albums/v244/SNAKE2004/?">Picture035.jpg


Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 21 Mar 2006 at 5:14am

I have done summer surveys for glow worms for 10 years now. There are a few academics who study them and I forward my results to them and the RSPB who manage the heaths.

They seem to have a few things in common with reptiles. Their requirements of habitat often match up with those of adders and lizards and like adders what would seem a good place in our eyes is not seen that way by glow worms. The other factor is once lost to an area they can only move back under their own steam - no flying or blowing on the wind. The males fly but not the larvae or females.

They do have boom and bust years which again are hard to evaluate. The repercussions of weather and drought are not felt immediately due to the lifecycle of the glow worm so this also makes it hard.

On one of the heaths I survey the distribution of the glow worms more or less exactly matches that of the adders found there.

There is an excellent website on UK Glow worms and articles are included showing which councils are sympathetic to their plight.



-------------
Suz


Posted By: lucym
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2006 at 1:04pm

A friend of mine in horsley was doing her gardening and whilst turning some soil came across somthing that looks just like the larva in Steve's picture, but i wasnt totally convinced as it lacked the light coloured tips that are present in the above pictures, are the light tips ever-present or do they appear at a certain stage or perhaps different genders?



Posted By: arvensis
Date Posted: 26 Mar 2006 at 9:11am

I counted 5 adult females at a site West of Winchester last July.

 

Mark



Posted By: herpetologic2
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2006 at 4:12am

 

The light organs are even present within the egg - the developing larva glows - according to John Tylers excellent book - I think there is a link to this on another thread.

What I would like to do is collate all the records from reptile recorders - dates, times, location name, etc so that we can pass this onto the glowworm recorder -

I have had some success in finding new grid squares for the species and I am also planning to take biometric data (sounds important dosent it) from two other populations in Surrey and Kent - As I am translocating reptiles in these sites where glowworms occur - the glowworms will also be relocated when they are found to the adjacent habitats - railway. ex allotment chalk downland etc

JC

 



Posted By: Vicar
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2006 at 7:14am

Jon,

How do you want to do this? I'm happy to note sightings as I survey.

Are you offering to be collator? and what info would you like? and how to send it?

I would assume you'd want usual grid reference, date, (time) & context (e.g. under tin!)? is met. data of use? maybe thru a PM or email?



-------------
Steve Langham - Chairman     mailto:steve@surrey-arg.org.uk">
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group


Posted By: herpetologic2
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2006 at 9:38am

 Hi Steve

I would be gladly be a collator for glowworm sightings - I would say that all the usual sighting data would be useful - grid reference, dates - under felt/tin or other - in the open even, met data would also be useful aswell as type of habitat - heathland, grassland, woodland etc

PM or email would be fine - any historical sightings over the last five years or so would also be welcome - I will pass info onto Rob the glowworm recorder.

Regards

JC

 



Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2006 at 11:11am
I have seen the glowing eggs in clumps of heathland grass. Much paler glow than the glowing females.

-------------
Suz


Posted By: herpetologic2
Date Posted: 04 Apr 2006 at 10:52am

 

So are people going to look out for these little critters - I would welcome any sightings.....

 

JC



Posted By: administrator
Date Posted: 04 Apr 2006 at 12:12pm
I often spot them under refugia and it is no problem to make a note of them on a reptile recording sheet. I've got a couple of records from Kent I'll dig out for you Jon.


Posted By: arvensis
Date Posted: 04 Apr 2006 at 5:20pm
Jon,
     Tried to PM you regarding the site of the 5 females seen last July but you PM limit has been exceeded.

Mark


Posted By: herpetologic2
Date Posted: 04 Apr 2006 at 6:30pm

 

Try again - I have made some room - all records of glowworms are welcome - especially if they are found under ACO's or tins etc

if anyone is interested there is a measurement which people can make - width of the pronotum -

The width of the first scale on top of the head is a good way of aging a larva - so if anyone fancies sending some data on this that would be great.

JC




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