Discover Life in America Hosts Virtual Smoky Mountain Fireflies Event

fireflies in the smoky mountains
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Never had the opportunity to see the synchronous fireflies in the Smoky Mountains? This year, you had the chance to see them from home! At the end of May, Discover Life in America hosted its annual, in-person firefly event near Gatlinburg. On June 1, people tuned in to their free virtual event to see the fireflies from wherever they live! We have all the details on the Smoky Mountain fireflies event and how you can see the fireflies.

Watch the Virtual Smoky Mountain Fireflies Event


This year, you didn’t have to travel to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see the Smoky Mountain fireflies! Discover Life in America made it possible for everyone to watch its firefly event from home. On June 1, the organization hosted a free virtual event on YouTube at 8 p.m. This is the first time everyone was able to watch the incredible synchronous fireflies no matter where they are, and the event was completely free! The virtual Smoky Mountain fireflies event included a short presentation about fireflies, followed by footage of synchronous fireflies. Viewers also got a chance to see blue ghost fireflies and other firefly species native to the Smoky Mountain area.

Smoky Mountain Fireflies Event

fireflies in the smoky mountainsDiscover Life in America hosted its annual firefly event near Gatlinburg on May 29, 30 and 31 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Norton Creek Preserve. The cost to attend the event was $225 per person, and all proceeds went toward Discover Life in America, which conducts research in the park. The event is not affiliated with the annual Smoky Mountain fireflies lottery or event in Elkmont, nor the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

About Discover Life in America

Discover Life in America is a non-profit organization in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that focuses on learning more about all the species of life in the park. The group funds and organizes the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, which brings some of the world’s top researchers into the Smokies. The ATBI is an effort to identify and record every species within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Discover Life in America also works to engage the public with educational programs and help people learn more about the biodiversity in the national park.

About the Smoky Mountain Fireflies

Elkmont fireflies shining in the Great Smoky MountainsSynchronous fireflies are one of at least 19 species of fireflies in the Smoky Mountains. They are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns! The light patterns of fireflies are part of their mating display. The males fly and flash, and the stationary females respond with a flash. Most species produce a greenish-yellowish light, but one species has a bluish light. Their mating season lasts about two weeks each year, typically in late May and early June.

We’re so excited that everyone had the opportunity to enjoy the Smoky Mountain fireflies this year! We hope you loved seeing the fireflies from the comfort of your home. Now, learn more about other species in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

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