ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ   TKSST is observing a slow July posting schedule. Back at it in August. Happy summer!
The Kid Should See This

The synchronous fireflies of Nanacamilpa

Every summer outside the tiny Mexican town of Nanacamilpa, a unique type of firefly puts on one of nature’s most incredible light shows.

These insects are one of the dozen or so species of firefly that signal in a synchronized fashion. The males, taking to the air to woo females, flash a sparkling yellow that undulates like waves through the dark forest.

The species, Macrolampis palaciosi, was first described only seven years ago, and very little is known about its biology.

Filmmaker Blake Congdon captured this national and natural treasure of Mexico at dusk on “a rainy day—with a break in the early evening—on a moonless night, neither too warm nor too cold” in the short film above.

The synchronized summer phenomenon is a new challenge to a once quiet area that is now bustling from firefly tourism. Visitors are in danger of stepping on the females and compacting the earth “where the fireflies live as larvae for many months eating soft-bodied animals like worms and snails before emerging adults.”

fireflies in Nanacamilpa
Like other areas known for their fireflies around the globe, the town is discussing the addition of boardwalks and ecotourism rules for conservation. Read more about the challenge and the science of firefly synchronicity in National Geographic.

fireflies in Nanacamilpa
Watch more firefly videos like In A Flash: Firefly Communication and fireflies sparkle in a Pennsylvania field at dusk on this site.

This feature is being tested. Saves will disappear if you clear cookies. Find saved videos here.

🌈 Related videos

Baby Humpbacks Need 150 Gallons of Whale Milk a Day

Rion Nakaya

New Zealand’s Waitomo Glowworm Caves in 4K

Rion Nakaya

Monarch Butterflies – Wonders of Life with Professor Brian Cox

Rion Nakaya

Go Into the Heart of a Kaleidoscope of Monarch Butterflies

Rion Nakaya

The elusive Bipes biporus, Baja’s ‘worm lizard’

Rion Nakaya

Underwater Bigeye trevally fish tornado in Baja California Sur

Rion Nakaya

Beautiful summer nights full of fireflies and stars

Rion Nakaya

A vortex of bubbles twirls pufferfish as cold & warm waters collide

Rion Nakaya

Fireflies sparkle in a Pennsylvania field at dusk

Rion Nakaya

 
Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.

 

Subscribe