Glow show

July 19, 2016

Nature provides the flash for photos of fireflies in Japan.

(Getty Images)While most are content to catch fireflies with their hands, a group of photographers in Japan has developed a more sophisticated and lasting way of capturing the glowing beetles.

During the early summer months, photographers set up their cameras in various locations throughout Japan and wait for fireflies to commence their spectacular mating ritual.

According to an article from National Geographic, fireflies flash in specific patterns. Males signal what species they are and that they are males. Females only respond to male fireflies of the same species.

“Once she finds the right male, their flashing conversation can go on for hours,” the article says, “partly because the ladies play hard to get, responding only to every fifth flash or so.”

Eventually the two fireflies find each other and mate tail-to-tail with the lights off. Then they go their separate ways, picking new partners the following night.

Don't go to Japan and expect the landscape to look like a glowing connect-the-dots game, a Colossalarticle warns. Photos like the one above are composites, meaning the photographers have combined 10 to 200 of the same frame, so what you see here can't be seen with the naked eye.