Throwback Thursday: 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

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62 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Flight Paths of Fireflies

  1. I did not know that we have fireflies out yonder my way that lack the ability to produce light. I did see my first firefly back in the fall of 2010 but nothing like these images. Thanks for sharing, Amy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful. I did not guess the yellow dots in your photos are fireflies until I read your post 😀 They are so yellow. The only fireflies I’ve seen aren’t that yellow, more white in colour 🙂

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  3. Oh wow Amy! I always dreamed of seeing a forest full of fireflies, your photos are pure magic! Thanks so much for sharing, I loved seeing these! Have a lovely, magical weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have just finished watching a series on Wild Japan that I had recorded. I never knew that Japan had such varied wildlife and nature from the tropical volcanic regions in the southern islands to the near Arctic conditions in the north. It was a fascinating series and I remember seeing something about the fireflies and also some phytoplankton are known to bioluminesce and can be seen in oceans around the world, including Japan (and the USA).

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