Throwback Thursday: Flight Paths of Fireflies

The World Is a Book...

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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