Historical glow worm sites in and around Scotland

A. Records published by Anthony Wootton (Country-Side 1971, 21 456-463 and 572-574, and XXII, No 6, Spring 1974, 266-271.)
NB: Comments such as '10 years ago' here refer from 1970s.

Slopes of Rest and be Thankful road, Nr. Arrochar, local and scarce, c. 1901.
North Knapdale, head of Loch Sween, 2, 1970.
Tarbert, local and scarce, c. 1901.
Lochgilphead, on ground between main road and Crinan Canal embankment (NR 855874), a few years ago.
"Mid-way between Ardlamont House and the Estate Factor's house" (NR 976658), 4 or 5 males, August 1948,.
Glen Massan (NS 125858), 1 to 2 dozen 1963 or 1964.
Shore of Loch Eck, Nr. Whistlefield (NS 142929), c. 1967
Just S. of Loch Taynish, due S. of Tayvallich village, by Loch Sween, E. of road leading to Taynish House, abundant on flat marshy ground throughout 1930s, but only seen by observer in few acres S. of Loch Taynish.
Arriundle area (NM 834658), on granite, peat-covered path, 1960.
Nr. Inveraray, several in grass by Forestry Commission road, c. 2m N.W. of Inveraray, mid-July 1972.

South Routenburn, Largs, hundreds, June-July 1940s.
C. 1m S. of Loch Doon, 10-12 early November 1970.
Girvan district, local and scarce, C.1892.
Barr, Nr. Girvan, local and scarce, c. 1901.

Isle of Cumbrae, between Farland Point and Clashfarland Point (NS 172540/185562), c. 6, June 1969 and earlier years. [See also site 203 below]

Nr. Loch Watten, a few, 1958.

C. 2m. S. of Sanquhar, on banks of A76 for c. 100 yards from Eliock bridge northwards, a number, 1970.
Nr. Moffat, a few, 1946. [See also site 067 below]
Banks of Evan Water, Nr. Moffat, previous to 1925.
Capenoch Woods, Nr Penpont, "a great display" c. 1946.
Nr. Langholm, along river bank in grass, recent.

Head of Loch Arkaig, on Locheil's estate, numerous, 1920s.

Nr. Old Bridge of Ken, New Galloway, c. 1934.
Brennan, S. of New Galloway, on A762, a few 1928.

Crichton Glen, from Borthwick to Crichton, numerous, c. 1912.

The Trossachs, Ben Venue, recent.
Balquhidder, by side of Loch Voil, in plantation a mile or so beyond Stronvar, hundreds, c. 1930-1934.
Mains of Bonskeid, Pitlochry (NN 890607), not more than 10, July 1969.
Killiecrankie, 1 or 2, 1958.
Gartmore, S. of Aberfoyle, several, c. 1928.

Kilmacolm, local and scarce, c.1901.

At foot of Marsco, "thousands", a few years previous to 1925. [Any reports from Skye or other islands are very useful as they may hold clues as to how the glow worms have spread - RS]

B. Sites reported to Robin Scagell up to 1991. For more recent sites, please consult the yearly blogs.
Site  Map    Location and details if any: f = (glowing) females, m = males
No    Ref
024 NM915437 Appin, Argyllshire 1f 1991
023 NM9545   Strath of Appin, Argyllshire 1f 1991
547 NN5200   Roadside, Aberfoyle, Perthshire 1f? 1955
580 NN520016 Aberfoyle, between loch and waterfall, near Lodge, 1f 1m, 18.6.89.
559 NN5371   Around Lochon na h-Aon Chraoidh, on track from Rannoch Lodge. 1958
107 NR7585   Loch Sween, W Kintyre 2f 1991
203 NS155540 Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland  1991
579 NS1754   Farland Point, Isle of Cumbrae, numerous 1912 (and recently – see below)
583 NS3397   Glen Douglas, beside road. 1f, 1987.
581 NS789969 Beside R Allan, Bridge of Allan, 18.6.89, 1 or 2 f
067 NT0805   Beattock, Moffat, Scotland 20f 1991
523 NT2774   On side of Arthur's Seat, next to Blenam Palace (??) 1990 [Probably a misidentification could there be glow worms in the middle of Edinburgh?]
546 NT3861   Valley between castles of Borthwick and Crichton, 1845!
      NR780190 Phuilladobhrain, Seil Island [Originally reported as Palldoran, Seal Island took me a bit of research to fix this one! I have calculated the map reference from the description they are said to be on rocky marshy ground. Seen early 90s]

12 June 1980: 'Single female... on a stalk of dead bracken adjacent to the south-west shore of Inchmoan Island, Loch Lomond. This observation prompted enquiry from personal contacts and in the literature regarding other Scottish records of Lampyris...: Wigtown, Portpatrick; Ayr, Girvan, Barr; Renfrew, Lochwinnoch, Kilmacolm; Selkirk, Tushielaw; Stirling, Balmaha; West Perth, Aberfoyle [again!], Pass of Leny; Mid Perth, Crieff; Argyll, Oban; Dunbarton, Luss, Rosneath; Clyde Isles, Millport.' - 'The Glasgow Naturalist, 20 (1), 1980.


Anyone in Scotland is urged to revisit the sites listed above and any other possibilities. Negative reports are welcome.

There is a long history of glow worms on the Isle of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde, as listed above. The Director of the Marine Biological Station at Millport told me in 1991 that there were still glow worms to be seen on the island. He speculates that they may have drifted there long ago on floating vegetation from the mainland. Further reports are regularly received. You can read a 1912 paper about the Cumbrae glow worms here.