Tuesday, June 4, 2013

More Blue Ghost Firefly Images from DuPont State Forest

Several members of our BMLs Research Team viewed the BGFs again last night at DuPont State Forest in Transylvania Co., NC.  These time-exposure images were taken with a tripod-mounted Canon EOS REBEL T3i DSLR camera with a 50 mm lens set at near-infinity focus.

Blue Ghost Fireflies (Phausis reticulata)
DuPont Forest State Park, NC
43 second time exposure

60 second time exposure

70 second time exposure

60 second time exposure
Clicking on an individual image brings up a larger and more readily visible version of that image.  The male BGFs fly near the ground with their bioluminescent light continuously burning for several seconds to several minutes while searching for the females that live in the leaf litters on the forest floor.  The long flight paths seen in the images show that individual flight distances can be 100 feet or more.  To the human eye, the faint light appers white or bluish white, while the camera detects it as greenish white lights.
Sightings of Blue Ghost Fireflies by uninformed and unsuspecting individuals may explain a few reported mystery light close encounters with suspected Brown Mountain Lights.  While the existence of BGFs haven't yet been confirmed on Brown Mountain itself, they have been seen on North Harper Creek (Ed Speer, 2006, personal communication), only 5.5 miles north of the mountain.


  1. I saw 3 or 4 blue ghost fireflies in Floyd County, VA just last night!

  2. Thanks Pamela. I've read of occurrences in Pa, but not VA