Fireflies are winged, mostly flying insects with bioluminescent bottoms who are part of the Lampyridae family. There are several subfamilies under this family, but Malaysian fireflies belong to the Luciolinae subfamily and of the genus Pteroptyx. Fireflies of this subfamily have the trait of having “flashing” bottoms instead of “continuous glow” ones. Fireflies in Malaysia additionally are known for being able to flash their “lights” on and off in sync with one another in large groups, which offers a truly amazing spectacle.
The bioluminescence, or in simple words the ability to give off light naturally, of a firefly is caused by the light-emitting organs on their bottom half and chemical interactions within that result in the release of cold light. This light can be in several different colours, depending on the type of firefly. In general, fireflies in Malaysia and in Cherating give off a yellow light.
The reason why seeing the fireflies at the mangrove are a must-add to the “what to do in Cherating” list you have is simple. The flashing of the fireflies’ light with perfect harmony in timing is something that is rarely experienced when watching other animal species! Not only that, watching only the light from the fireflies brighten up the dark night sky adds a magical feel to the environment, especially when you sit in a boat surrounded by water and the sounds of nature. We don’t have to tell you what an amazing photo op this activity provides too.