UK Species of Glow Worm

Overall, there are 3 British species of glow worm, although only one (Lampyris noctiluca L.) is likely to be found. 

Male glow worms have a normal beetle form, while the females are wingless and resemble beetle larvae. The features of the most common species, L.noctiluca, are listed below:


  • Antennae: 11 segmented, filiform
  • Head: Very large eyes
  • Pronotum: Yellow and brown, semi-circular, largely covering head
  • Wing cases:  Brown
  • Tarsi: 5-5-5


  • Larviform (wingless), highly bioluminescent


  • Black with yellow corners to each segment - they feed on snails

Where to find them: Chalk downland in the South East of England