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Wormspotting 


Editor:

My whole family was intrigued by Anthony Westkamper's Humbug article mentioning glow worms ("Coming Back and Slipping Away," Nov. 26). We had no idea something so cool lives here!

Over 20 years ago on a visit to Texas we saw fireflies for the first time, and I still remember how amazing they are. We would love to hear more about these "firefly relatives" and exactly where, when and how to find them!

Amy Lennox, Eureka

Editor's note

Anthony shared his tips on locating local glow worms:

"Although they're known as "Douglas Fir Glow Worm" (Pterotus obscuripinnis) I almost always see them in the leaf litter under redwood trees. They can be found in most of the parks along State Route 36. You are most likely to find them on drizzly or rainy nights when it's dark and the forest floor is wet.

"When you get to your destination use a flashlight to plan the excursion in your mind, then turn out all lights and allow your eyes to dark adapt. Once in the dark, I usually give it a full minute or more with my eyes closed. Then look. They resemble tiny green LEDs. On close examination, you'll find two light patches, one on each side. You needn't walk softly. It is theorized they glow as a warning that they are distasteful so your heavy footfalls may actually stimulate them."


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