Tamil Nadu

Watch | Lakhs of fireflies illuminate the Anamalai Tiger Reserve

Several lakhs of fireflies put on a light show at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu.

Fireflies on perched on every plant and tree emitted light at the same time illuminating the entire forest.

Officials say this was a rare event and could even be called a ‘world wonder.’

Like in science fiction movies and in fairy tales the Annamalai Tiger reserve has been shining like a magical world for the past few days.

Fireflies on one tree begin flashing and this relay followed throughout the forest like a domino effect.

Firefly experts say that only males emit light together in trees to attract females. There are around 2,000 species of fireflies and all of them can have different lighting patterns too.

This type of synchronous flashing of fireflies had also been observed in neighbouring Parambikulam and Nelliyampathy, and in Maharashtra, too.

Lack of lights, night tourism, habitation and vehicle movement are believed to be the reasons for the large population of fireflies in the reserve. This mass congregation of fireflies can be the sign of a pristine ecosystem.

Scientists and conservationists are studying the ecology and life cycle of fireflies, how they select their trees and their relationship with other wildlife.

They say that fireflies spend most of their lives as larvae. For a year or more they live in soil and feed on soft-bodied insects. The adults, as beetles, live for two to four weeks, and feed on nectar and pollen.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 2:20:05 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/watch-lakhs-of-fireflies-illuminate-the-anamalai-tiger-reserve/article65422721.ece