Sexual Communication - Male Fireflies Flashing at Females

These photographs of mid summer passion, were taken by Tsuneaki Hiramatsu after thunderstorms and heavy rain in Japan.

Look at the beautiful paintings that are created with this sexual communication, as thousands of male fireflies fly around flashing furiously at the females on the ground. The competition is fierce as there are many more males than there are females.

When a female Japanese firefly is looking for love she indicates this with her own flashing signal, then watches as the males compete desperately to communicate with her. She is very picky though, and why not? She afford to be with so many males vying for her attention.

Each firefly is showing off how fast, and how beautiful a light display they can produce. Look at me they are all saying. Look at how fast I can flash. Look at my long lasting display of light. Look at the intensity of my pulsating passion.

These fantastic light communications represent different strengths, and qualities that the male fireflies have to offer, and she knows what she wants, so that she can produce the finest offspring possible. If she likes what she sees in a particular male, she will respond by flashing back in a sequenced manner, synchronising until their rhythmic light dance patterns are totally in tune with one another.

Once she has partnered up with her chosen male she will not respond to any other communications, she takes one partner only, and makes love until dawn the next day. Then she slips away quietly to lay her eggs. There has been no trick photography here, and nothing has been altered in these pictures. It is purely the beauty of nature.

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