The fireflies are out and active at Congaree National Park, but be sure to leave your jars at home.
Congaree National Park posted on its website Thursday that its fireflies have been active and synchronized the past several days. The phenomenon usually lasts around two weeks every May or June, though it could change depending on temperature and soil conditions.
They appear to be most active between 9 and 10 p.m., the park reported.
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The coordinated blinking is believed to be part of a mating ritual by a certain species of firefly, photuris frontalis.
The park is one of a few easily-accessible places in the country to see synchronized fireflies. The best viewing is along Bluff Train and Bluff Campground, though the boardwalk is a popular place to view them.
Visitors planning on viewing the fireflies are asked to follow the following rules:
▪ Be considerate to other visitors viewing this phenomenon.
▪ Keep noise levels to a minimum
▪ Use red filters on your flashlights. Bright lights can disturb the fireflies’ flash pattern and make it difficult for other people to see.
▪ Do not use flash photography.
▪ Parking is limited, so carpool when possible.
▪ Do not capture fireflies in jars or take them with you.
Click here to view a map of the park.