Glow-worms in pop culture

Glowworm Wills cigarette card

1922 Wills cigarette card

During the last century, many cigarette manufacturers tucked nifty collectible cards inside  every cigarette pack. Sometimes these cigarette cards had wonderful artwork depicting fascinating scientific tidbits. This 1922 card of the common European glow-worm show both a male (right, inside circle) and a female (left, on grass). The two look surprisingly different in this and other glow-worm species! While the male looks like a pretty typical adult beetle, the grub-like female doesn’t: for one thing, she doesn’t have  wings, so she’ll never be able to fly. Full of eggs, this plump female crawls up onto a perch and glows for hours trying to attract a flying, unlit male.

The glow-worm’s undeniable romantic charm was also captured in this hit song, which  the Mills Brothers recorded in the 1950s – enjoy!