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Have you seen glow worms?

Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 15:28 UK time, Thursday, 17 June 2010

Guest blog: TV researcher Ruth blogs about glow worms.

The glow worm is the stuff of fairy tales. A magical being that has its place firmly in tales of witches, fairy princesses and dragons. Rightly so, for seeing them is a truly magical experience. But, of course, only at night.

glow-worm.jpg In real life it's a beetle that looks a bit like an elongated woodlouse. In the day it's very hard to find. At night, however, the last few segments of the female's abdomen glows like an incredibly bright, green-yellow LED. The female can't fly, so uses light to lure the flying males to her. By being bright and prominent on the edge of the vegetation, she maximises her chances of being chosen.

Once she is mated, out goes the light. Chris took Kate out on a date to see glow worms earlier this week, which we filmed for and you can see on tonight's Springwatch. We had such a wonderful evening, we would love to hear about your sightings and experiences too. So post a comment below.

glow-worm1.jpg Or, more importantly, help with science. Glow worms can be seen on almost any grassland type across much of mainland Britain. You can also spot them in moorland, heathland and open areas of woodland. They're most common in the south of England, including here in Norfolk. The Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service has started a survey to find glow worm hot spots in their county. Find out more and submit your sightings on their website. For those outside of Norfolk, Robin Scagell has been carrying out a national glow worm survey for a number of years. If you see any glow worms, please help his valuable work and report your sightings on his website. Get glowing!

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