Nottinghamshire Glow Worms 2017
Clipstone Old Quarter female Glow Worm data 2017
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The Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey
The Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey is still an ongoing project, and survey results contributed to the scheme are available via the above link. If you would like to help and join in with the survey, please contact us by clicking the banner above for more information.
 
The prospects for an early Glow Worm season

We often get asked "when the first Glow Worm will emerge each year?". Its a difficult question to answer and you would think that after monitoring the larval population of a colony for the best part of a decade, that we would have some idea by now.

Such predictions are difficult and largely guesswork at best, but there are other factors to take into consideration.

The ability of Glow Worm larvae to find food (over at least two years) is one, especially during periods of prolonged dryness. The Sherwood Forest area has undergone periods of very dry conditions which leads to dehydration in Glow Worm larvae. During some larval surveying in the late Summer and early Autumn of 2013, we found that some larvae were becoming paper thin and when rain did eventually arrive on September 6th, we found larvae taking on much needed water.

 
Photograph by Martin Dale
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The variabilities of the UK weather is without doubt the biggest factor in determining when any species will appear. Not just around the time of adult emergence, but over the course of the previous few months and probably well over the past year of larval life in Glow Worms. For larvae going on to become adult this Summer, then having suitable weather conditions for hunting (warm and damp) and the ability to find enough food during the previous Autumn, is likely to be much more critical than during the Spring, as most pre-pupation development will already have taken place. We have had over-wintering larva in captivity, which never ate anything before pupation.
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Average monthly minimum Winter temperatures 2008-2017
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    2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
Nov - Apr   2.80C 2.08C 2.35C 3.28C 1.55C 3.33C 2.93C 3.59C 3.46C
Jan - Apr   2.80C 1.62C 3.67C 2.75C 1.05C 3.62C 2.45C 2.35C 3.50C
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Date of first female   May 27th May 24th May 13th May 30th June 8th May 18th May 23rd June 3rd May 20th
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Average monthly maximum Winter temperatures 2008-2017
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    2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
Nov - Apr   8.68C 8.04C 8.71C 9.79C 7.33C 10.29C 9.50C 10.26C 9.60C
Jan - Apr   9.27C 7.67C 10.70C 9.75C 6.95C 10.89C 9.60C 9.30C 10.12C
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Date of first female   May 27th May 24th May 13th May 30th June 8th May 18th May 23rd June 3rd May 20th
  Seasonal variations have tended to produce very mild Winters, often with a short spell of snow or icy conditions. The past couple of Winters locally here, have barely produced a frost, let alone snow.

We have just experienced yet another very mild Winter, which eventually developed into another cool and dry Spring, which was an almost carbon copy of last year.

With a number of Glow Worm larvae appearing relatively early in March, it had looked promising for a potentially early start to this year's glowing season. But then the weather changed and most nights became cool, with the overnight temperature often dropping well into single figures.

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Although there were few nights with a ground or air frost, the cool nights and lack of any real warmth during daylight hours, meant that the prospect for any early females would now seem unlikely. A lack of rain probably hasn't helped matters either and some larvae found during our surveys were quite thin.

A look at the average monthly minimum and maximum Winter temperatures for the period 2008-2017, shows that the two years producing an early Glow Worm season, came when the average minimum temperature was over 3.5C and the average maximum temperature was over 10.5C for the period January to April for both years. We have just read the average temperatures for April and the average minimum temperature for January to April 2017, is 3.5C and the average maximum is over 10.0C. It is possible that this years season could be another early one after all.

 
Diurnal Glow Worm larval size ranges found during March 2017 (to March 30th)
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    9mm-15mm larval size range   Intermediate   19mm-28mm larval size range
Section .. 9mm 10mm 11mm 12mm 13mm 14mm 15mm .. 16mm 17mm 18mm .. 19mm 20mm 21mm 22mm 23mm 24mm 25mm 26mm 27mm 28mm
A .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1 .. .. .. .. ..
B .. .. .. .. .. 1 .. .. .. .. 3 1 .. 1 2 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
C .. .. .. .. .. .. 1 .. .. .. 2 2 .. 1 .. .. .. .. .. 1 .. .. ..
D .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1 .. 1 2 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1 .. ..
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    9mm-15mm larval size range 14.00%   Intermediate 52.00%   19mm-28mm larval size range 34.00%
Total % .. 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 .. 4.00 33.00 14.00 .. 10.00 10.00 0.00 0.00 4.00 0.00 4.00 4.00 0.00 0.00
 
 
2017 Glow Worm sightings (Clipstone Old Quarter only)
Our continuous coverage of the Clipstone Old Quarter colony is hopefully continuing throughout the Spring and Summer months, but surveying a slightly smaller area than last year. This will mean much smaller counts than on previous years, but will still allow us to collect comparison data for later in the year. Sections O, K, J, D and possibly L, M and C will form our 2017 survey route. See map below.

Records away from Clipstone Old Quarter, will be made available via the Nottinghamshire Glow Worm Survey page.

                 
Glow Worms (both adults and larvae) are recorded as follows.....L = larva ..... M = male .....F = female
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Date   Stage   Additional notes
................   .L. .M .F.   llowing a pleasant sunny day. Temperature.......................... dropped quickly to 6C at T2 at 17:30h. Site visited from
March 9th   0 0 0   No larvae recorded this evening. Temperature 9C at T2. Site visited from 16:00h-17:15h.
T
March 13th   0 0 0   No larvae recorded this evening. Temperature 11C at T2. Site visited from 17:30h-18:30h.
T
March 14th   2 0 0   The first larvae were found this evening, although only one of which (17mm) was alive. A temperature of 11C was recorded from T2. Site visited from 17:45h-18:35h.
T
March 15th   1 0 0   One 19mm larvae recorded this evening. Temperature 15C at T2. Site visited from 17:30h-18:40h.
T
March 16th   2 0 0   Two 18mm larvae recorded this evening, one of which appeared to have some damage to the head area. Temperature 11C at T2. Site visited from 17:50h-18:30h.
T
March 18th   3 0 0   Three larvae recorded this evening. Sizes were 17mm x2 and one at 15mm. Temperature 14C at T2. Site visited from 15:50h-16:40h.
T
March 19th   6 0 0   Six larvae recorded this evening, with sizes including 16mm, 17mm, 19mm, 20mm, 23mm and 26mm. Temperature of 13C at T2 and site visited from 17:15h-18:05h.
T
March 21st   0 0 0   No larvae recorded this evening. Temperature 7C at T2. Site visited from 17:45h-18:30h.
T
March 26th   2 0 0   Two larvae recorded this evening, measuring 17mm and 25mm. Temperature of 10C at T2 and site visited from 18:45h-19:25h.
T
March 28th   1 0 0   One dead 20mm larvae recorded this evening. Temperature 13C at T2. Site visited from 18:25h-19:20h.
T
March 30th   4 0 0   Four larvae recorded this evening, measuring 13mm, 14mm, 17mm and 18mm. Temperature 16C at T2. Site visited from 18:20h-19:15h.
T
April 1st   8 0 0   Eight larvae recorded this evening, measuring 14mm, 16mm, 17mm x2, 18mm, 19mm, 20mm and 25mm. Temperature 10C at T2. Site visited from 18:55h-19:50h.
T
April 2nd   1 0 0   One 21mm larvae recorded this evening. Temperature 12C at T2. Site visited from 18:50h-19:50h.
T
April 5th   3 0 0   Three larvae recorded this evening. Sizes were 15mm and 18mm x2. Temperature 11C at T2. Site visited from 18:30h-19:25h.
T
April 8th   5 0 0   Five larvae recorded this evening, with sizes including 15mm, 17mm, 18mm, 19mm and 23mm. Temperature 18C at T2. Site visited from 18:30h-19:30h.
T
April 19th   2 0 0   Two larvae (measuring 24mm and 25mm) recorded this evening, although one larva was found dead on the path. The T2 temperature was recorded at 12C. Site visited from 18:50h-19:45h.
T
May 8th   1 0 0   One 20mm larvae recorded this evening in section C of the survey area. There was a temperature of 7C at T2 and the site was visited from 19:00h-20:10h.
T
May 11th   0 0 0   No larvae or adults recorded during a search late evening. Temperature 11C at T2. Site visited from 21:45h-22:45h.
T
May 12th   0 0 0   No larvae or adults recorded during a search late evening. A temperature of 12C was recorded at T2 and the site visited from 21:40h-22:45h.
T
May 14th   0 0 0   No larvae or adults recorded during a search late evening. Temperature of 9C at T2. Site visited from 22:00h-22:00h.
T
May 15th   1 0 0   One 20mm larvae recorded in section L this evening, which produced a long duration glow lasting nearly a minute. Temperature of 15C at T2. Site visited from 22:20h-23:45h.
T
May 17th   0 0 0   No larvae or adults recorded during a search late evening. Temperature of 9C at T2. Site visited from 21:45h-22:45h.
T
May 18th   0 0 0   No larvae or adults recorded during a quite wet, late evening survey. There was a temperature of 10C recorded at T2 and the site was visited from 22:00h-22:50h.
T
May 20th   0 0 1   The first female Glow Worm of the season (F001) was found in section K of the survey area this evening. This is the third earliest date which we have ever recorded here. There was a temperature of 10C at T2. Site visited from 22:15h-23:10h.
T
May 21st   1 0 0   No sign of last night's first female, on what was a cool evening under clear skies, but a pupating larva was found glowing, when disturbed by a small Lithobius Centipede. A temperature of 8C was noted at T2 and the site was visited from 22:15h-23:15h.
T
May 22nd   0 0 1   Female 001 was back glowing again, on a much warmer evening. There was no sign of the pupating larva found the previous evening. A temperature of 15C was recorded at T2. Site visited from 22:10h-23:10h.
T
May 23rd   0 0 3   Three females found this evening, present in sections K, L and O. The temperature at T2 was 15C again and the site visited from 22:00h-23:00h.
T
May 24th   0 1 6   Six females present this evening, including four new females and a male found with F001. A glowing female pupa was found near F004 and appeared to have been freshly predated, possibly due to a parasitic wasp found in attendance. A temperature of 15C was recorded at T2. Site visited from 22:10h-23:20h.
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Below:- Arial map showing the survey area and former route we used to take each night. For female Glow Worms, sections O, K, J, D and possibly L, M and C, will form our 2017 survey route. Larval surveys are made in sections A, B, C and D. The two yellow dots show the two locations (highest and lowest points on site) where the temperature is taken during the season.
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