Although I have been on quite a number of trips to witness fireflies, notably in Kuala Sepetang (Perak) and Sungai Yak Yah (Terengganu), I was still mesmerised by the flickering of uncountable fireflies during my cruise along Sungai Selangor in Kampung Kuantan, Bestari Jaya (formerly Batang Berjuntai).
Three species of fireflies out of approximately 2,000 species in temperate and tropical environments are found in Kampung Kuantan, Kuala Selangor. The species are: Pteroptyx tener, P. valida and P. malaccae. The dominant species in this area is Pteroptyx tener.
Fireflies are also known as lightning beetles, being the only insects in the world to produce their own light. P. tener in Kampung Kuantan are about 5 – 10 mm in length. They become active at dusk, from around 7.30pm to 11pm, congregating on berembang trees.
How does one differentiate a male firefly from a female? Well, the light from the male firefly is said to be brighter, so as to attract the opposite gender. One thing to note is P.tener’s synchronised flash, something that is uncommon for other firefly species.
My group was out on boats to witness the fireflies up close. Each human-pedalled boat could only carry four passengers, excluding the boatman. The ride, which takes roughly 20 to 30 minutes costs RM53 per passenger.
Photography wise, as no flash is allowed, it would take a very capable device to successfully capture the fireflies on camera. I wasn’t able to but I have committed the sights to memory, which should be the case!
Oh yes, for your information, those who catch fireflies, if caught, will be fined RM1,000 under the Local Government Act 1976, Part XII Section 101.
To plan a trip to watch fireflies (Kelip-kelip), you are advised to go through Tourism Selangor. Contact information enclosed below:
Tourism Selangor Promosi Sdn. Bhd.
Add: Lot P7, Jalan Indah 14/12, Seksyen 14, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Tel: +603-55132000 / +609-3262036
Fax: +603-55136268 / +603-55182407
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