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Glowworm Tunnel Newnes

Glowworm Tunnel Newnes
Photo Information
Copyright: matt fowler (mattmightsay) (2)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-05-11
Categories: Mountain
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-04-24 1:04
Viewed: 4241
Points: 0
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Glowworm Tunnel - from Newnes Rd / Near Lithgow.

Bushwalk - Information:
Time: 3 hrs
Distance: 9km
Fitness: Easy, Medium
Skill: Easy
Ascent: 280m

Ecology of the Glow Worm:

Glow worms are the larvae of insects belonging to the Order Diptera (Flies). Glow Worm flies are known as Fungus Gnats.

The scientific name for the Glow Worm is Arachnocampa richardsae. Glow Worms live in caves and other damp, dark places, where they spin snares of hanging silken threads studded with sticky droplets to entrap small insects such as mosquitoes, which are attracted by the light produced by these larvae.

A blue glow or bioluminescence of the larvae is the result of a reaction between body products and oxygen in the enlarged tips of the insect's four excretory tubes. Bioluminescence can be controlled by regulating the supply of oxygen to these tubes.

The life history of the Glow Worm involves four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult fly. Eggs are laid in large numbers directly onto the cave wall. After three weeks they hatch into tiny larvae which immediately emit a bright light. The larvae grow over a period of months until they reach a length of about 30 mm.

When about to pupate, the larvae shrink in size and become translucent. The larval skin is shed and the larva develops into a pupa, which is suspended vertically. The pupal stage lasts about 12 days. The female pupa is larger and stouter than the male and possesses two prominent bulges at the rear of the abdomen. Both male and female pupae glow. Both adults can also glow, though once egg laying commences, female flies seldom glow. Male flies tend to live longer than females and can live up to four days. Please respect these fascinating creatures by helping to protect the Glow Worms and their habitat so that others can enjoy seeing them in the future.

Glow Worm Tunnel provides an excellent opportunity to see Glow Worms. However, these animals are sensitive to habitat disturbance, in particular, noise, lights and pollution from smoke and exhaust fumes. They are also destroyed by touching.

The floor of the tunnel is wet, rocky and slippery in places. The curve of the tunnel prevents light from disturbing the glow worms. If you want to see the glow worms, turn off your torch, keep quiet and wait a few minutes. The larvae will gradually "turn on" their bioluminescence and be visible as tiny spots of light on the damp walls of the tunnel.

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