Glow worm at The Secret Campsite Max Mudie

Glow worms are rather magical. Their arrival at The Secret Campsite is always treated with excitement. Plus a raft of picture taking which is normally fruitless as they tend to be rather camera shy. Or perhaps we are just inept!

Glow worms aren’t actually worms, instead they are actually small beetles, of about 1.5- 2 cm length. The males do look like small beetles but the female has no wings and so looks similar to larvae. The female emits a distinctive green nightly glow as she is looking to attract a mate in the darkness of her grassland habitat.

Both Countryfile and The Sussex Wildlife Trust have some great facts about Glow worms including the fact that both male and females lack a mouth. The clock ticks from the moment they emerge from their pupa as they have only one task to complete, which is reproduction. Once they have mated the female will turn out her light, and commit her remaining energy to laying her eggs and then die.

Over the years we have only managed to take two decent photos of them! At last years Secret Wildlife Festival, our wonderful photographer Max Mudie did get a couple of shots including this cover shot.

We do attract a fair number of them here at The Secret Campsite. Sussex seems to be a good place to spot them. They tend to appear from mid June until late July. Best places to spot them are in the long grasses! So look all around the Meadow and down on the Railway Track too. Best spotting times are between 9 pm – 10 pm.

Good luck with spotting them when you visit and please do come and tell us where you saw them!

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