Can glow worms bite?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: March 20, 2021

Reading time: 2 mins

Hidden in Gold Coast’s lush rainforest lie a species that has a unique magical ability, known as the Glow Worms.

Glow Worm, Gold Coast

Famous in the region due to their extraordinary ability to glow in the dark!

The Life of a Glow Worm

Glow worms are not in fact worms, but the larvae of a fly called the fungus gnat. The larvae period of the fly lasts between 9 months to a full year, with the adult fly period only lasting a quick 2 days. Therefore, the majority of the bugs life is as a glow-worm, where they are tucked within a dark cave in Gold Coast’s rainforest region. During this time, the glow worms must eat as much as they can to survive, and they do this by admitting their glow in the dark to attract nearby prey. As the prey travels towards the light, it gets caught in the worm’s woven silk threads, which the worms slowly pull up to consume slowly.

Where you can find them

The Gold Coast’s rainforest is known as Springbrook National Park, being one of the oldest remaining rainforest regions around. These species are found in the moist darken caves od the region, being the perfect habitat for glow-worms who need a wet habitat to thrive. The Springbrook National Park holds the largest colony of glow worms in Australia, so no matter what day you visit this colony, you are guaranteed to see an impressive amount.

How do Glow Worms Glow?

The light from a glow worm is due to a chemical reaction within the body, also known as bioluminescence. Admitting similar chemicals to create lights as fireflies do, they use this to lure their prey close to them without having to move at all. The light is caused after an enzyme ‘luciferase’ reacts with oxygen, creating the fascinating bluish-green light that you see in the caves.

Do They Bite?

If you are worried about being bitten by a glow worm yourself, you have nothing to worry about. As the glow worms only hunt for small bugs and have no interest in the humans nearby who visit.

Related article: What is there to do on the Gold Coast that isn’t the beach?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.