Worms, wonderful worms

What does one do on a rainy day in New Zealand? Frank and I headed two hours to Waitoma to see something you can only see in New Zealand — a glowworm cave! A cave walk took us through some stunning limestone stalagmite and stalagtite formations while we learned about the insects’ life cycle. We then boarded a boat and travelled in an eerie silence through a dark cave, illuminated only by the light of these incredible creatures.

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I pulled the pictures above off the internet as they don’t allow photographs in the caves. Biology lesson time: The lifecycle of a glowworm is 9 months. Eggs hatch in 3 weeks into larvae (midge). The midge drop threads of sticky substance. They emit a light attracting other insects to the threads and then they suck up their prey. They may also feed on other glowworms if they need to. After 8 months, the threads serve to suspend the larvae when it forms into a pupae. The adult glowworm fly emerges after 2 weeks. Females live up to 3 days and males 4, long enough to mate, lay about 150 eggs and continue the life cycle.

3 thoughts on “Worms, wonderful worms

  1. This was on every tour we looked at. Seems to be like leaning tower in Pisa, where all tour buses converge! However, was interesting…have u been to Rotaroa yet? The Agrodome with sheep sheering? Miss you both. Pam

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    • Hi Pam, we were worried it would be touristy but found it fascinating. Rotaroa is on our list before we leave the North Island on the 23rd. We meet Nick and Maddie in Christchurch on the 24th (may do Akoroa then?). They will be with us for two weeks as we make our way to Queenstown via Milford Sound/Te Anau over New Year’s. After they leave, Jenny will come for 2 weeks as we work our way to the north end of the South Island. Thinking South Africa after this… Thanks for the advice and keeping in touch. We miss you guys too and know you will have a wonderful Christmas in your new home. Will you have the whole family together?

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