Well, my last post (from Japan) was about the firefly, so it is quite fitting that my first post back in Tasmania features some more “life that glows” - the glow worm!
Glow worms are not worms, they are the larval stage of a kind of gnat. They emit the light when they want to attract their prey – which is basically small insects – who then get ensnared in a long sticky string, like a spiders web. They need sheltered, dark and moist environments to survive. Caves with water are a perfect habitat.
Tasmanian Cave Spider
Glow worms aren’t the only inhabitant of caves in Tasmania. Living side by side in this particular cave were a great many specimens of the Tasmanian Cave Spider! The female in particular is very large and a perfect stereotypical terrifying spider – imagine crawling about in the dark thinking there could be dozens of these things crawling on the walls and ceiling all around you…
Where to see glowworms in Tasmania
Glow worms are found in Australia and New Zealand, with the Tasmanian species called Arachnocampa tasmaniensis. The best display is at Mole Creek Caves (Marakoopa) and there are regular guided tours there. Note – there is no photography allowed of the glow worms at Marakoopa – in particular no flash or tripods are allowed. I will not be disclosing the location of the glow worms in this particular post due to destructive behaviour by some in the pursuit of images for social media.