Cameras Go Inside The Forests Of Tennessee For The Greatest Firefly Light Show On Earth

by • June 28, 2015 • Nature, PhotographyComments (0)847

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Tennessee is famous for many things such as country music and Elvis Presley, but the state is also home to what may very well be the most impressive firefly light show you could ever dream of. CBS Sunday Morning‘s Lee Cowan took a camera crew to one park in particular that is a mecca for thousands of firefly lovers each and every year. For more information on the fireflies of Great Smoky Mountains National Park be sure to visit the National Park Service. “Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” says the park’s website. “They are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns. Fireflies (also called lightning bugs) are beetles. They take from one to two years to mature from larvae, but will live as adults for only about 21 days. While in the larval stage, the insects feed on snails and smaller insects. Once they transform into their adult form, they do not eat. Their light patterns are part of their mating display. Each species of firefly has a characteristic flash pattern that helps its male and female individuals recognize each other. Most species produce a greenish-yellow light; one species has a bluish light. The males fly and flash and the usually stationary females respond with a flash. Peak flashing for synchronous fireflies in the park is normally within a two-week period in late May to mid-June.” (Photos courtesy of Tsuneaki Hiramatsu via the Smithsonian Institute, Firefly Experience, Yume Cyan)\

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