For a few nights following the full moon each month, the shallow waters around the Caicos Banks to the south-west of Provo are the scene of a wonderful natural phenomenon: millions of glow worms come together and emit green flashes of light that is visible from the surface of the water.
It’s all part of a mating ritual, unique in the Caribbean, that begins shortly after sunset.
To join a glow worm tour, please contact us.
The glowing lights are produced by a marine worm called Odontosyllis enopla, aka the “Bermudian Fireworm.”
Odontosyllis enopla, known locally in the Turks and Caicos as glow worms, can only be found in shallow waters around the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Bermuda to the north. These worms are known as “glow worms” because of the green luminescence that accompanies their spawning cycle.
Female glow worms release eggs that float to the surface seas. The eggs give off pulses of pale green light. These pulses of light are the signal for the male worms to dart among the eggs to fertilize them. The whole spectacle lasts for just fifteen minutes and is visible on the surface of the ocean.
The timing of the glow worm mating ritual is tied to the lunar cycle. The females begin releasing their eggs roughly two to three days after the full moon. The spawning activity generally goes on for two or three successive evenings.
Glow worm tours
Each month our friends at Reef Peepers offer a Glow Worm Sunset Cruise that promises a magical evening aboard a glass-bottom power catamaran.
Glow worm tours are determined by the lunar cycle, and tours occur several days following the full moon. (For a lunar calendar, please visit fullmooncalendar.net). Departure time is approximately 30 minutes before sunset from Turtle Cove.