Species Account for Lampyris noctiluca
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Taxonomic group: beetles (Coleoptera) - Sample of data
The glow-worm is a beetle though only the males have typical beetle wing cases and the wingless females could be mistaken for an insect larva. It is the females that glow, to attract a mate. Larvae are predators on snails in long grass, usually on chalk or limestone. Although widespread in Britain, the species is thought to have declined over a long period due to habitat destruction, deterioration and fragmentation. This has been a subject of recent concern (e.g. Gardiner & Tyler, 2002), especially since the females are unable to fly, and little is known about how far the larvae will travel in search of new habitat. They are likely to find roads, watercourses or arable fields serious barriers to dispersal, so that local extinctions are unlikely to recolonise. References