Georgia has more firefly species (56) than any other state, each having its own distinct flash. Males flash while flying; wingless females sit on vegetation and emit their own light signals, which the males cue on. [6]  They prefer warm, fairly wet weather, and in this part of the country they tend to appear in May, June or July.  [7]

They tend to like warm, fairly wet weather. In the United States, they tend to appear in May, June or July. Some warmer areas of the U.S. like Texas have “late” season fireflies and you can expect to see them all the way into October and November if the conditions are right. [7]

In the United States, one of the most famous sightings of fireflies blinking in unison occurs annually near Elkmont, Tennessee, in the Great Smoky Mountains during the first weeks of June. [4]   We have been on  a guided hike at night in Joyce Kilmer National Forest  and seen them.  Congaree National Park in South Carolina is also a host to this phenomenon. [13]

“Mysterious and little known organisms lie within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions.” E. O. Wilson [1]

References and Additional Information

[1] Silent Sparks – The Wonderous World of Fireflies – Sarah Lewis, Princeton University Press
[2] Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs – Lynn Frierson Faust, UGA Press
[3] Georgia DNR – Out My Back Door: Fireflies Create Sparkling Backyard Wonderlands
[4] National Park Service: Synchronous Fireflies
[5] The Smokey Mountain Hiking Blog: The Synchronous Fireflies of Elkmont
[6] AJC – Charles Seabrook: Blinking fireflies are icons of Georgia summer nights
[7] Fifty Questions
[8] Smithsonian Magazine: 14 Fun Facts About Fireflies
[9] [Boston] Museum of Science: Firefly Watch
[10] Wikipedia: Firefly
[11] Wikipedia: Elkmont, Tennessee
[12] AJC – May 3, 2017
[13] National Park Service – Congaree National Park: Synchronized Fireflies at Congaree