Methods and recommendations for surveying firefly glow-worms (Coleoptera: Lampyridae): a practical example from Southern Spain

Raphaël De Cock[1] & Ramón Guzmán Alvarez[2]

1 Evolutionary Ecology Group, University of Antwerp, Belgium.
2 Silviculture and Pastures Research Group, University of Córdoba, Spain


This study presents data about recent survey excursions in search of lamprid glow-worm species in Southern Spain performed by volunteers of the Spanish lampyrid project “¿Has visto una luciérnaga?” (Have you seen a glow-worm? in 2012. The main aim was to find and study populations of recently discovered new species in the Parque Internacional del Tajo (Extremadura, Spain). Secondary aims were to survey other river systems in Eastern and Southern Spain (river El Bosque, National Park of Grazalema in South Spain; river Túria and river Júcar, in East Spain) to perform lampyrid surveys. At all sites lampyid populations were encountered. The presence of an isolated population of Lampyris iberica is now officially confirmed in the extreme South of Spain (PN de Grazalema, Andalucia), and the species was also very abundant in West Spain (PI del Tajo, Extremadura). Phosphaenopterus metzneri larvae and pupae were found both in West Spain (PI del Tajo, Extremdura) and in Portagem (Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede, Portugal). Lamprohiza paulinoi adults were spotted in West (PI del Tajo, Extremadura) and East Spain (Bugarra, Community of Valencia and Alcalá del Júcar, Castilla – Mancha). Behavioural and ecological data of these species are presented. These expeditions also yielded samples for further taxonomic, morphological and genetic research. The discussion offers detailed recommendations of how to plan surveys and monitoring studies for lampyrids by night walks and by using light lures and traps.

tags: Lampyridae, glow-worm fireflies, Phosphaenopterus metzneri, Lamprohiza paulinoi, Lampyris iberica, Nyctophila reichii, monitoring, survey