Great Smoky Mountains Synchronous Fireflies Viewing Dates for 2015 Announced
The park service has announced the dates for the annual viewing of the Great Smoky Mountains synchronous fireflies light show at Elkmont for June 2015. The dates for the shuttle buses will be June 2-9, 2015. The park service reports advanced reservations of parking passes have sold out but there will be 85 passes each day of the event available. The passes will be for sale online the day before starting at 10:00am.
Each year in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Elkmont there is a firefly viewing that attracts thousands of spectators. In late May and early June synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus), a species of fireflies that live in the park provide an interesting show due to their mating pattern. This flash pattern is unique to this type of firefly (also referred to by southerners as lighting bugs). The flashing has a pattern that male and female fireflies of this species recognize and is part of their mating process. It is a fascinating spectacle to watch in the still of the night while under the stars in the Great Smoky Mountains.
The peak time for this annual mating season is in late May to mid June and last for about a 2 weeks. The National Park Service for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year has a viewing event where a shuttle service provides transportation to Elkmont Campgrounds. The event is so popular tickets are needed for the shuttle to Elkmont. The shuttle is the only way to gain access to the event unless one is a registered camper in the Elkmont Campgrounds.
The firefly shuttles between Sugarlands Visitor Center and Elkmont will be running June 2-9, 2015. Passes can be purchased at www.recreation.gov or by calling (877) 444-6777.
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