Synchronized Fireflies

I love to watch fireflies light up the dark night sky and thankfully we still have quite a few at the end of the Gunflint Trail. I can look outside my window at night and see them blink among the trees. They need it to be dark and around Voyageur and in the Boundary Waters it is plenty dark for fireflies. One thing I had no clue of was fireflies sometimes synchronize.

According to an article I read, “Of the roughly 2,000 species of fireflies around the world, scientists estimate that about 1 percent synchronize their flashes over large areas.” It turns out these male fireflies are attempting to attract females of their same species and when they do it together they are much easier for the female fireflies to spot and confirm it is her species based upon the tempo and flash pattern.  How cool is that?

Synchronous fireflies from Allegheny

This mass gathering of fireflies is something I would love to see and it turns out the Smoky Mountains aren’t the only place they do this. You can check out this website to find other locations where fireflies synchronize. Until I can get to one of these locations I’ll just have to settle for this amazing video I found on EarthSky.org.

 

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