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Video recording of the collective display of Photuris frontalis fireflies


Sarfati, Raphael; Peleg, Orit (2022), Video recording of the collective display of Photuris frontalis fireflies, Dryad, Dataset,


Photuris frontalis fireflies are known for their synchronous flashing when swarming in large numbers. Here, we provide a continuous, high-resolution video recording of their collective display. This recording was obtained at Congaree National Park, South Carolina, USA, on May 23, 2021, in the fireflies' natural habitat. It started at 8:38 pm EDT and continued for about 130 min without human interference. The flashes seen in the video appear usually synchronous, and at times produce more complex patterns akin to the mathematical phenomenon known as "chimera state".


This movie was recorded with a α7R4 Sony camera with settings:

  • 60 fps
  • Exposure time: 1/60 s
  • Aperture: f/1.4
  • ISO = 32,000

The camera was mounted with a Rokinon 35mm AS UMC lens, which is a wide-angle lens (63°). Focus was at infinity.

The camera was placed on a tripod about 1m50 above ground.

The movie was produced by the camera as a .MP4 file. It was automatically split after 100min.

Usage Notes

The video files can be read with most usual MP4 reader software.


National Geographic Society