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海ほたる (Sea Fireflies)

October 16, 2014

Ever heard of sea fireflies? There are tiny species of ostracod crustacean that is native to parts of Southern Japan. They range anywhere from 1mm-3mm in size that live under sand in shallow water during the day and feed during the night. The actual creature does not glow but fluid it excretes when disturbed does.

I found these near Fukuyama, Japan which is close to Hiroshima. I had only heard a little bit about them but whenever I did hear about them they seemed to be out of season which runs from May to October. My family decided to go away for the night so we decided to stay near a beach where they were often found. I am sure glad we did because they were amazing to see. There was a certain magic to them similar to fireflies that you find in the forest.

I have photographed the two species of fireflies, himebotaru and genjibotaru, that live in the forest many times before but was very excited to be able to finally photograph the sea fireflies. They are generally difficult to photograph due to all the rare conditions that must be met before they appear. The water temperature, the weather and even the moon must be just right for them to be visible.

It is unfortunate that I found out about these at the tail end of the season. I cannot wait until the next season begins in May of 2015. I will definitely be taking much better pictures now that I am armed with a bit of knowledge about how to photograph them.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask me in the comments below or via the contact page. The images themselves can be found in my Getty Images portfolio and they do have an embed function for certain limited non-commercial use. Feel free to share this psot using the social media buttons on the left.

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