This is a long exposure photo of fireflies in Okayama prefecture, Japan.
Fireflies or Lampyridae are a family of insects within the order Coleoptera, aka; the Beetle family. Firlies exist on every continent in the world, except Antarctica, with about 2,000 species globally. With the exception of species that are active during the day, fireflies are bioluminescent organisms, which means that they produce their own light.
Fireflies produce their “light” through a chemical reaction consisting the substrate Luciferin, the enzyme Luciferase, Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and oxygen. This chemically produced light may be yellow, green or pale red with wavelengths ranging from 510 to 670 nanometers. The colour of light emitted, signal pattern, time and duration vary from species to species. In some of these species, all stages of the lifecycle glow, even the larvae, which are called “glow-worms”.
Fireflies produce light for three primary reasons; the males use the light to signal females for the purpose of mating, the light is used as a mechanism of defense against predators (the light warns other species that they are distasteful), and finally, the light can be used as a mechanism to warn others of danger.
Whatever the reason for creating this beautiful light, it definitely makes them a captivating sight on summer nights.
Photo courtesy of:Tsuneaki Hiramatsu