Fireflies Flashing in Sync

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Fourteen species of fireflies live in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but only one of those – the synchronous fireflies, or Photinus carolinus – are the stars of an annual light show, slated for June 6-13, 2013.

What makes these lightning bugs so special? According to the U.S. National Parks Service, they are the only species in America that appear to synchronize their flashing light patterns, resulting in a spectacular display for visitors.

The park organizes nightly viewings at Elkmont Campground during the peak season in early to mid-June. No cars are allowed in the campground after 5 p.m., but a $1 shuttle transports non-camping visitors to and from the Sugarlands Visitor Center parking lot. For ticket information or confirmation of the firefly viewing, call (865) 436-1200.

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