Preserving Appalachia’s Greatest Natural Light Show

Clyde Sorenson, An entomologist at North Carolina State University, suspected that some of the fireflies atop Grandfather Mountain in western North Carolina might be more than your average lightning bug; and his hunch absolutely paid off

Sorenson found the Phontinus carolinus, one of the small handful of synchronous firefly species in the world. What makes them different from you standard firefly is that these insects flash together in 6-8 second quick bursts, then they all go dark for 8 seconds. The theory biologists have is that this pause evolved to confuse predators which allows the fireflies to find a mate under the cover of darkness. Evolution is such an amazing thing!

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