RAUK - Archived Forum - Glow-worm numbers!!! please help

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Glow-worm numbers!!! please help:

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Herpetologic
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Posted: 07 Nov 2003

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!!!


Herpetologic
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Posted: 07 Nov 2003

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)

 

 


GemmaJF
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Posted: 07 Nov 2003

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.


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
Phil Davidson
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Posted: 08 Nov 2003

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


Skywalker
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Posted: 10 Nov 2003
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)
Herpetologic
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Posted: 11 Nov 2003

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

 

 

 


Herpetologic
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Posted: 11 Nov 2003

 

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

 


Paramesotriton
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Posted: 02 Mar 2006
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.
herpetologic2
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Posted: 02 Mar 2006

 

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


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Mick
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Posted: 02 Mar 2006

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.   


Paramesotriton
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Posted: 03 Mar 2006

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?


herpetologic2
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Posted: 03 Mar 2006

 

Yep

 

Jon


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herpetologic2
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Posted: 03 Mar 2006

 

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

 


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Mick
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Posted: 03 Mar 2006
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!
herpetologic2
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Posted: 15 Mar 2006

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

 

 


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herpetologic2
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Posted: 15 Mar 2006

 

As shown in following picture


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Vicar
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Posted: 15 Mar 2006

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


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herpetologic2
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Posted: 15 Mar 2006

 

Yep thats a glowworm larva alright

 

Jon


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*SNAKE*
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Posted: 20 Mar 2006
i saw 8 glow worms 2 years ago & a few males near a golf course near denhamPicture035.jpg
PAUL SMITH     
Suzi
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Posted: 21 Mar 2006

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

- Glow-worm numbers!!! please help

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