Glowworm Larva or Railroad Worm

Black with orange spot… not a centipede
Sun, Mar 22, 2009 at 6:11 PM
Hi I found this interesting specimen in George Washington national park located in Staunton Virginia. I have never seen anything like it and have been camping there for about ten years. I was hoping you would be able to ID it for me as it’s a very interesting and colorful insect. I thank you for your time and effort… I love your site and have used it extensively to satisfy my curiosity about bugs…
David Barton
Staunton Virginia


Dear David,
What a positively magnificent Glowworm Larva you have photographed. it is in the family Phengodidae. There is an identical specimen posted on BugGuide that was photographed in North Carolina. It is unfortunate that you didn’t have the opportunity to see it glowing a luminescent green in the dark.  Glowworms are also known as Railroad Worms.


1 thought on “Glowworm Larva or Railroad Worm”

  1. I found one one just like this in my back yard a few days ago. I had no idea what it was, and the internet search that followed is what led me here. I wanted to keep it until dark but anytime it was put into any type of container it acted as though it was dying. Not wanting to harm it (as it was the first and only time I’ve seen such a worm) I decided to place it back in the same spot It was found. It crawled away and I have not seen it since. Interesting find though!! Found in South-Eastern KY


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