Knoxville’s Best Night Show: Fireflies

magical lights sparkling in mysterious forest at nightSummer in East Tennessee can mean so many things, one of our favorites here at Preferred Pest, Termite & Turf are FIREFLIES! These awesome summer bugs will light up the night skies in your neighborhood and even put on a spectacular show in the Smokies.

Fireflies (also called lightning bugs) are beetles. 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.

The production of light by living organisms is called bioluminescence. Fireflies are a good example of an organism that bioluminesces, but there are others as well, such as certain species of fungus, fish, shrimp, jellyfish, plankton, glowworms, gnats, snails, and springtails.
If you are wanting to go out and watch these amazing bugs remember these things.

Light Show Etiquette
Flashlights disrupt the fireflies and impair people’s night vision. The light show is best when you:
• Cover your flashlight with red or blue cellophane.
• Use your flashlight only when walking to your viewing spot.
• Point your flashlight at the ground.
• Turn off your flashlight when you find your viewing spot.

You can also help protect the fireflies and their habitat:
• Do not catch the fireflies.
• Stay on the trail at all times.
• Pack out all of your garbage.

Leave a comment