2018: Visitor Center hours are extended to 10:00pm nightly and the Fireflies Festival becomes a ten day event. The window to see the synchronous fireflies in the Smokies is tight — their mating season lasts just two weeks, leaving just a few days to catch … © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. Synchronous fireflies ( Photinus carolinus ) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and one of only a few species in the world known to synchronize their flash patterns. Follow me on Instagram (@suzannekelleher) and Flipboard (@SRKelleher). Park officials will run shuttles into the area to see the fireflies from May 30 through June 6. The P. Carolinus breed of Synchronous firefly was only recently discovered in the Allegheny National Forest in 2012 by a team of biologists. The fireflies light up in consistent patterns with a routine six-to-eight seconds of darkness between each flashing sequence. As a. I’m always looking for new ways to travel better, smarter, deeper and cheaper, and spend a lot of time watching trends at the intersection of travel and technology. If you’ve never visited to see the synchronous fireflies event at Elkmont, it’s time you do! But rest assured that there will a variety of Watoga news in 2021. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is abuzz as its iconic synchronous fireflies put on one of nature’s most wondrous annual events — only this year, there are … For anyone who scores a pass, remember to bring snacks, $2 in cash for the trolley shuttle from Sugarlands to the viewing area, bug spray, and a chair or blanket to sit on. This year, the coronavirus pandemic has forced the park to cancel in-person viewing but, happily, a local nonprofit is stepping up to share this natural phenomenon virtually. Insider Tips: The synchronous fireflies lottery period begins at 8:00 AM. These fireflies are special because they synchronize — all lighting up at once! Learning the Basics of Accurate and Factual Newswriting. These tours are extremely popular and sell out quickly. As tens of thousands of boy beetles sync to the same rhythm, the forest fills with alternating flashes of bright bioluminescent light and pitch darkness. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced this year’s dates for firefly viewing in Elkmont. Both male and female blue ghost fireflies, which are about the size of a grain of rice, emit a light that looks more blue-white from a distance than the yellow-green common among other fireflies. Virtual Synchronous firefly event to be held Monday, June 1, 2020. The Fireflies Festival was a one day event. The massive demand for tickets always outstrips supply, so the park doles out the limited number of passes through a lottery system. 2020 Elkmont Fireflies Event in the Smoky Mountains. “The display will include the world-famous synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus),” as well as blue ghosts (Phausis reticulata) and other firefly species native to the Smokies region, all set to relaxing sounds of nature,” according to the press release. Rangers in the Great Smoky Mountains National park said the park is home to 19 species of synchronous fireflies. Every year in late May or early June, synchronous fireflies (scientific name: Photinus carolinus) put on a show in the Great Smoky Mountains, most specifically in Elkmont Campground in Tennessee, drawing a crowd from around the world. Fireflies combine the chemical luciferin and oxygen with the enzyme luciferase in their lanterns (abdomens) to make light. That means their lights sync up so they all flash at the same time. Do you want to witness the mystery and magic of the Synchronous or Blue Ghost fireflies in 2021? In a the coming months, people will get a chance to witness one of the most beautiful natural light shows in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: The return of the synchronous fireflies … Blue ghosts fireflies (Phausis Reticulata - Latin for phantom network)– don’t blink; they fly while glowing a bluish hue for up to a minute. These are no ordinary fireflies, and this is not an ordinary crowd. The headlining act, the photinus carolinus — also known as Elkmont fireflies — are veritable rock stars to nature lovers. They are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns. FINDING SYNCHRONOUS FIREFLIES Seeing a sparkling carpet of fireflies in your backyard can be a magical experience. Where they are abundant, Blue Ghosts create the effect of an ethereal fairy village. During a two week window each year Synchronous Fireflies light up the night inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Access to the Elkmont area has been limited to shuttle service since 2006 in order to reduce traffic congestion and provide a safe viewing experience for visitors that minimizes disturbance to the fireflies during this critical 2-week mating period. Synchronous species of fireflies are rare, and can only be seen in a handful of places throughout the world. The blue ghosts also glow for about a minute rather than flash. The annual lottery to see the synchronous fireflies of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park may be canceled this year due to the coronavirus, but a … Synchronous fireflies are one of at least 19 specie… Every year in late May or early June, thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont Campground to observe the naturally occurring phenomenon of Photinus carolinus , a firefly species that flashes synchronously. 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