Fun Glow-worm Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Nov 04, 2022 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
Here are amazing glow-worm facts for kids.

Glow-worms, their scientific name being Lampyris noctiluca, may not sound like a new species to you as they are quite well known creatures. In movies and fairytales, glow-worms are always described as shiny insects that emit light.

Some of us must have seen them in reality as well. These beautiful bioluminescent insects are one of their own kind that emit warm light at night through bioluminescence.

This species has a lot to tell about itself, and in this article, you will get to know all that is relevant about this species.

Also, you’ll be surprised to know that these species of worms are known to fly at night, too, in groups. Like spiders, they spin a sticky web to catch their prey.

So, let's begin. After reading these glow-worm insect facts and glow-worm cave facts, you may also look at atlas beetle facts and stag beetle facts.

Glow-Worm Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a glow-worm?

Glow-worms (Arachnocampa Luminosa) are insects of the Lampyridae family. The beetles of this species are commonly known as fireflies.

What class of animal does a glow-worm belong to?

Glow-worms belong to the Insecta class of animals. These bioluminescent creatures can be found in most regions of the world.

How many glow-worms are there in the world?

There are 2,000 glow-worm species found in the world. The exact number of the glowworm population is not known but their less visibility has indicated that their population has drastically reduced.

Where does a glow-worm live?

Glow-worms are found in Africa, Asia, Central America, Eurasia, Europe, North-America, Oceania, and South-America.

What is a glow-worm's habitat?

Glowworms prefer to live in dark and peaceful areas like caves and forests. In such types of areas, they have abundant food sources for them. They usually hang from the roofs of the caves. Different types of glow-worm species are found all over the world.

Who do glow-worms live with?

Usually, the glow-worms are seen flying during the night in groups. So, this indicates that the glow-worms live in groups.

How long does a glow-worm live?

The lifespan of a glow-worm is very short, a male can live up to 3-5 days, and a female can live up to 2-3 days.

How do they reproduce?

In order to reproduce, the female glowworm searches for a plant stem, and then she climbs on it till she reaches the top of the plant, where she will be easily visible. Then in order to attract the males, she flexes her abdomen in the upward direction.

By doing this her glowing organs are highlighted, and the males flying above can notice and come towards her to mate. During the pupa stage, the female grows even brighter to ensure that it has a mate when it is time hatch.

The lifespan of glowworms is hardly a week-long. After laying eggs, the females die later in 1-2 days. The eggs hatch after 1-2 weeks. The eggs mature after one or two summer seasons and become glow-worm larvae.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of glow-worms is listed as near threatened. Over the years, the glowworm population has declined drastically, and they are facing the threat of becoming endangered due to various reasons.

Glow Worm Fun Facts

So far, we have gained a fair idea about the class, habitat, lifespan, reproduction and conservation status of glow-worms. Now we can move ahead with some interesting glow-worm fun facts.

What do glow-worms look like?

Glow-worms are basically the larvae of the fungus gnats. They are very tiny mosquito-like insects that are capable of glowing. The glow-worms are  0.18-0.20 in long, and they weigh around 0.01 lb. Glow-worm lights are found to be either green, yellow or orange.

How cute are they?

Cute is not the correct term for these bioluminescent insects. Glow-worms are fascinating insects, and if someone gets to see them shining during the night time in the woods then the person is most likely to be enchanted by their wonderful twinkling.

How do they communicate?

Glowworms communicate with each other through some vibrations as they possess an innate ability to do so. The insects such as glow-worms use vibrations.

How big is a glow-worm?

Glow-worms are very tiny insects. Their body length varies between  0.18-0.20 in, height varies between 0.01-0.02 in depending upon the glow-worm species.

How fast can a glow-worm move?

Glow-worms are really tiny insects, and adult glow worms can't fly fast.

How much does a glow-worm weigh?

Glow-worms are light in weight. Adult glow-worms have an average weight of 0.01 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no distinct name allotted to their male and female species. They are simply referred to as adult male glow-worm and adult female glow-worm.

What would you call a baby glow-worm?

A baby glow-worm will be called a larva. Even the larva of these creatures are predators and feed on slugs and snails.

What do they eat?

Being small insects and predators, this species prefer to prey on smaller insects such as snails, slugs and other such small insects. In order to catch their prey, they make a sticky web similar to that of a spider, and the nearby flying insects and snails get attracted towards their glowing lights and get trapped in these sticky webs.

Are they dangerous?

No, these bioluminescent insects are really tiny and hardly visible to the eyes. They neither bite nor cause any harm. They are completely harmless and like to live among their members.

Would they make a good pet?

No, glow-worms can neither be domesticated nor be kept as a pet. The reason is that this species has a very short lifespan of 2-6 days, and also their population has declined heavily, so finding these insects is really tough these days.

Did you know...

Touching glow-worms can disturb them, and this species is really sensitive to such disturbances. If a person touches them, then they may turn the lights off and stop glowing.

Like glow-worms, even fungus gnats use their bioluminescence but while glow-worms use it to primarily attract a mate or warn off predators, the fungus gnats use it to attract its prey.

For glow-worms, the bioluminescence property is used either to attract mates, attract prey or warn off predators, depending on the stage of their life cycle.

How does a glow worm produce electricity?

Glow-worms are called glowworms because their bodies emit golden-yellow lights. Their bodies glow because of chemicals and other enzymes, like luciferase, present in their bodies react with oxygen present in the atmosphere. This reaction known as bioluminescence and generates light.

The insect is a bioluminescent creature, which means that this species produce light naturally. The bioluminescence of the insect is because of an enzyme present in its body that reacts with oxygen.

Where are the glow worm caves in New Zealand?

If you want to experience the mind-blowing beauty of glow-worms, then you must visit theWaitomo glow-worm caves, New Zealand.

The Waitomo caves are famous for their Arachnocampa luminosaa population. The Arachnocampa luminosa is a species of glow-worms endemic to New Zealand.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including water beetle, or ground beetle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Glow-worm coloring pages.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

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Smriti ChaudharyBachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti, a student data scientist, and coder, is pursuing her Bachelor of Technology at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering. She has achieved top rankings in the International English Olympiad, National Spelling Bee, and PSAT/SAT English Section. She is experienced in content creation and editing for various academic institutions.

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