Synchronous Fireflies At Great Smoky Mountains

Posted at 11:50 AM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 13:11:44-04

Each summer, tourists travel to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to spot the flashing light patterns of Synchronous fireflies.

According to the National Park Service, Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) are one of nearly 20 species of fireflies that live in in the park. 

These photos were taken Saturday night from the Elmont Campground.

Photos: Synchronous Fireflies At Great Smoky Mountains

On a trail near the campground, fireflies of two species could be seen lighting up the night. The Synchronous firefly and the Blue Ghost firefly both live there. 

June 11 is near the end of the mating season. So, this is by no way a peak of what the fireflies can look like. Typically, peak times for firefly viewing are late May into early June.
Most of these pictures were taken after 9 p.m. They look brighter than they should because long exposure photography was used to capture the fireflies without any other light.

That’s also the reason why the fireflies appear as lines in each picture. Blue Ghost fireflies are different in that they typically stay lit for 10 seconds or more as opposed to blinking like the Synchronous fireflies.