Entomology: Luring Love Lights

Professor Dr. Friedrich Schaller of the Braunschweig Technische Hochschule's Zoological Institute is a scientific voyeur. He has spent the better part of the past three years spying on the love life of Germany's two native glowworms. The males of the Lampyris noctiluca family, he reports with apparent approval, are choosy in picking their mates. The males of Phausis splendidula are as undiscriminating as sailors home from the sea.

Both species are beetles whose larvae live in damp places and feed on snails. The adult females cannot fly. When they reach maturity, they...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!