Flight Paths of Fireflies

For nearly a decade, amateur photographer Tsuneaki Hiramatsu spent his summer evenings in the forests outside Niimi, in Japan’s Okayama prefecture.

fireflies Hiramatsu

He was intent on capturing the spectacle of firefly mating season, when the males and females vie for attention through blinking codes. As night fell, Hiramatsu began shooting a series of eight-second exposure. Read more

fireflies Hiramatsu-2

— Source: Smithsonian Magazine

  • There are more than 2,000 species of fireflies, a type of beetle. Fireflies in the western United States, for example, lack the ability to produce light.
  • Males that do glow use their flash to attract females. A chemical reaction within the firefly’s light organ produces the light—oxygen combines with calcium, adenosine triphosphate (ATP—the energy-carrying molecule of all cells) and a chemical called luciferin, when an enzyme called luciferase is present.  More facts
Photo: firefly.org

Photo: firefly.org

Thank you for visiting! Happy Thursday 🙂

83 thoughts on “Flight Paths of Fireflies

  1. What an interesting topic you have brought to us today. I think that photographer must have been very patient to wait to capture those images. I am always thankful to people like him who show us things we would not see otherwise.


  2. These are spectacular photos! It is not easy to photograph fireflies, so I see why it would take a decade of summers to achieve this result. Thank you, Amy, for sharing this.


  3. Captivating post,Amy ! Amazing,luminous photos and illustrations; love those little nocturnal beetles in my garden during summer and they always manage to trigger my imagination.


  4. There is something really magical about fireflies. I have experienced them many places, but never as intense as in the jungle of Borneo. Thanks for sharing Tsuneaki Hiramatsu’s work, those image are amazing.


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