Fireflies – Mystery deciphered @ Camping near Pune

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What are fire flies? And how do they glow? What’s the life cycle of fireflies? Their diet?

Fire flies near Pune

Fire flies near Pune

Fire flies(near Pune) are the unique species on planet earth which glows. They are scientifically called as Lampyridae. Also called as lighting bugs, they are found across the globe, but mostly in tropical region. They glow or illumine for several reasons of which main two are mating and hunting prey.

There are more than 2000 species of fireflies found worldwide. They generally grow in area with water, woods, trees. Their larvae( next generation, baby fireflies) gets abundant food in such areas that’s the reason they grow in woods.

The fireflies found in Sahyadri are active during day and night, where as some may be active only during the day time.

A few days after mating, a female lays her fertilized eggs on or just below the surface of the ground. The eggs hatch three to four weeks later, and the larvae feed until the end of the summer. The larvae are commonly called glowworms. Lampyrid larvae have simple eyes. The term glowworm is also used for both adults and larvae of species such as Lampyris noctiluca, the common European glowworm, in which only the nonflying adult females glow brightly and the flying males glow only weakly and intermittently.

Fireflies hibernate over winter during the larval stage, some species for several years. Some do this by burrowing underground, while others find places on or under the bark of trees. They emerge in the spring. After several weeks of feeding on other insects, snails and worms, they pupate for 1.0 to 2.5 weeks and emerge as adults. The larvae of most species are specialized predators and feed on other larvae, terrestrial snails, and slugs. Some are so specialized that they have grooved mandibles that deliver digestive fluids directly to their prey. Adult diet varies: some are predatory, while others feed on plant pollen or nectar. Some, like the European Glow-worm beetle, Lampyris noctiluca, have no mouth

Where to spot fireflies near Pune?

In western ghats.

If you are keen on seeing the fire flies around Pune, then don’t wait. Get out of your shelters, get going to the ghats, which are towards west of Pune. Namely Madheghat, Tamhini ghat, many sacred groves, riverbanks in the ghats, dense vegetation in the ghats.

Which is best season to spot fireflies?

Any time during spring. However, the light show peaks high towards end of summer, just before the monsoon arrives. In fact, fireflies can be used as an indicator to forecast monsoon arrival. They all come out and glow, in huge numbers just before the monsoon.

Can we really take photo of fireflies & how?

Yes, we can.

Firefly photographs are commonly shot using long exposures from a tripod. The proper exposure depends on the ratio of the fireflies’ luminosity to that of the background. That ratio is constant if we assume (as is usually the case) that the background lighting doesn’t change much over the course of a session. We usually would like a rather long exposure because we want to see lots of fireflies in the final image.

e.g. f/2.8, 15 seconds, ISO 200, 28 exposures, noise reduction

Why go camping with Nisargshala to see fireflies?

Off course, Nisargshala is the location which is away from any kind of pollutions. Based in the core western ghats, campsite is located at the bank of a seasonal river. We go on a night nature trail after having dinner to see the fireflies. Right from the campsite, we walk approximately for 30 minutes. Apart from fireflies, you get best ever night camping experience in the nature with BBQ, camp fire, authentic village food, adventure activities like trekking, rappelling, rock climbing.

Note – Our camp site is in core western ghat. And we are not supposed to disturb the habitat their with any kind of pollution, be it noise, light or air. Music, dance, masti, smoking and liquor are strictly prohibited at the camp site.
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