Fireflies are contained in glass bottles for the exhibition.
(ECNS) -- Environmental protection volunteers are calling for people to show more respect for wild fireflies, which could die within three days after being captured and displayed at a firefly show in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, Beijing News reported.
The show kicked off April 14 and will last until Sunday.
Thousands of fireflies are being contained in glass bottles for the exhibition, which has attracted many visitors, including children, who are charged 99 yuan () per person to enter.
Li Ping, a volunteer with an environmental organization focused on protecting fireflies, said about three fireflies are kept in one glass bottle. Staff working at the show have to continually shake the bottles to make the insects flash their tails and glow.
According to one staff member, about 1,000 fireflies are transported by air, from regions in the south, each day for the show.
The contained insects only live for three days, but can live about seven days in their natural environments. They will be released in the city after the show. However, fireflies cannot live well in the environment of Guangzhou, Li said. Releasing them is literally throwing them away.
About 120 such exhibitions were held in China last year, Li said, adding that more than 10,000 fireflies were captured for each show. Most of the insects were captured in the wild because of the high cost and manpower involved in captive breeding.
Li also urged the government to create legislation to protect the insects and avoid ecological damage.
Fu Xinhua, a professor at Huazhong Agricultural University, said fireflies like clean, cool and humid places. The number of fireflies in a place can reflect the environmental conditions there. He called for more people to pay more attention to wild insects.