The instant joy you feel when you see specks of lights in the sky, a blither of flying light bulbs and a surreality of nature. Every single one of us has seen montages of fireflies lighting up the night skies in a movie, making the aura of the scene serene. Those images make us wonder how beautifully scenic it would be to experience this phenomenon in real life.
Fireflies are interestingly beetles and a part of a family of insects, under which most species are light-emitting. Often scientifically referred to as soft-bodied beetles, there are 2000 species of fireflies which are also known as glowworms or lightning bugs. You can spot fireflies at various places in India, it’s just a matter of looking for them.
Why do they Glow?
What people are often oblivious to is, that the light that shines through the fireflies is a sign of the mating act between the insects. The fireflies emitting light indicates that they are flitting around looking for mates. Interestingly, fireflies adapt their pattern of displaying their light which results in certain species grouping together and flickering to attract mates. This phenomenon is what we refer to and view as the “light show”
Entire trees light up with ripples, waves and circles projecting as a mathematical and geometric wonder in nature. If you see fireflies light up on a certain day, you will see ten more of them the next day and so on given that this ethereal light show is their mating season.
Where can we find them in Maharashtra?
Fireflies usually can be easily found in green areas and patches, especially during this season. In Maharashtra, there are several places which conduct firefly walks and allow visitors to experience the imagery of fireflies lighting up trees.
These walks usually happen at campsites in Lonavla, Naneghat, Purushwadi, Siddhagad Fort, Rajmachi, Kalammawadi dam site, Bhandardara Dam, Harishchandragad Kulsubai forest area, Igatpuri and Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary and Ghatghar Dam. There are festivals like Mulsi, Bhimashankar and Ratanwadi and Samrad. All the destinations are within the range of 100-200 km away from Mumbi and Pune and can be accessed.
Despite the demand for firefly watching and walks, these festivals experience an increased possibility of being banned due to environmental consequences. Many environmentalists and zoologists suggested that the heightening of the number of visitors during the second quarter of May and the last week of June results in a posed harm to the mating cycle of the insect. What was suggested to resolve this issue was the sensible and conscious conduction of firefly walks. It is suggested to issue standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be followed by the forest department and the visitors.
Go ahead and visit these destinations sensitively while respecting the habitat of the insect to see firefly-lit trees and skies
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