Volume 1, March 2011 Pages 14-21
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Original Research Article

Seasonal variation in the female display period of the glow-worm Lampyris noctiluca L. (Coleoptera: Lampyridae)

W. Hickmott & J. Tyler

ABSTRACT The results of a detailed, long-term study of a population of Lampyris noctiluca show considerable variability in the magnitude and timing of female counts, both within and between seasons. The onset of the display season is relatively fixed, in marked contrast to its unpredictable closure. There appears to be a relationship between total number of females and season-length. A consistent pattern is apparent in terms of the duration of individual female displays, with those eclosing near the start or end of a season likely to display for longer than those emerging mid-season. Tentative explanations are offered for these observations, involving the interplay of fixed and variable environmental factors, larval developmental rates and a discrepancy between male and female emergence periods.

KEYWORDS: eclosion, sexual asynchronicity, Lampyris noctiluca, Lampyridae