Jun 06 2013

Synchronous Fireflies

Published by at 6:30 am under Insects, Fish, Frogs

Fireflies are just starting to emerge in southwestern Pennsylvania and with them the opportunity to see a very special phenomenon.

Most fireflies flash individually but in a few special places on earth — pockets in the Appalachians and in Thailand — the males flash in synchrony.   While the female fireflies wait on the ground, the males fly above and flash together — blinking in synchrony 6 to 8 times, then pausing for 8 seconds.  Their display is so beautiful that these sites have become meccas for firefly lovers.

Right now this light show is going on in Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Elkmont, Tennessee as you can see in the video above.

If Tennessee is too far away, you can see them closer to home in the Allegheny National Forest.  Synchronous fireflies were discovered there in 2011 and studied last year by the experts from Tennessee who found that we have the same species that displays in the forest near Elkmont.

See them for yourself at the first annual PA Firefly Festival, June 21-23 at the Black Caddis Ranch Bed & Breakfast in Kellettville, PA.  Volunteers will guide you to the light show from 9:00pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday.  Visit the PA Firefly Festival website for more information.

We’re lucky to have such a cool light show near home.

(video from Knoxville News Sentinel on YouTube)

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Synchronous Fireflies”

  1. Kathyon 06 Jun 2013 at 9:44 am

    How totally incredible! I used to love to sit on the porch when I lived in Alabama and watch them for hours on end!

  2. Kathyon 06 Jun 2013 at 9:45 am

    Clarification…..not syncronous…just regular little fireflies.

  3. John P. Englishon 06 Jun 2013 at 10:29 am

    Interesting. I have seen the same thing at the “Scouts Only” campsite at Fort Necessity about 15 years ago. Hundreds of fireflies. You could read a book by the light there were so many. And the kids were absolutely quiet ;-)

  4. Beth Lawryon 06 Jun 2013 at 9:40 pm

    I have seen a mini version of this in the Poconos.

  5. Furry Gnomeon 09 Jun 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Amazing video of the fireflies! I just saw the first here in southern Ontario tonight.

    Furry Gnome

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