The Synchronous fireflies flash in waves

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s synchronous fireflies flash in waves across hillsides Sunday night in the Elkmont region as part of their two-week mating season. “No one is sure why the fireflies flash synchronously. Competition between males may be one reason: They all want to be the first to flash,” the park says on its website. “Or perhaps if the males all flash together they have a better chance of being noticed, and the females can make better comparisons.” Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in the park and the only species in America that can synchronize their flashing light patterns. For another photo, see Page 2A.

Tom Sherlin is a veteran photographer at The Daily Times, who has won multiple awards from SPJ, TAPME and TPA for his work in capturing spot news, features and sports in both stills and video.

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