This summer, Allegany State Park’s Environmental Education Department will offer hikes to view the rare Synchronous Fireflies – once thought to exist in only a handful of places in the world.
The Photinus Carolinus species, also known as the Synchronous Firefly, flashes only from late June to mid-July.
In 2012, the Firefly International Research and Education Team came to study the local firefly species, and confirmed its existence in the Branch Creek area of Allegheny National Forest.
After lead naturalist, Adele Wellman, and other volunteers and naturalists from Allegany State Park received the training necessary to identify the species, the park naturalists looked in similar habitats and were able to identify the Synchronous Firefly for its first confirmed sighting in New York State.
Allegany State Park will offer the opportunity to view this special species, which flashes simultaneously in an apparent competition display to attract females. Please check out the park’s Facebook page to see when firefly walks will be scheduled.
In the event of severe thunderstorms, the event will be cancelled. However, the fireflies do display in rain and you may still observe them on your own if you wish. Displays are best observed in a dark mature forest in order to experience the full effect.
For information on other programs, please check Allegany State Park’s activity schedule at www.facebook.com/alleganystatepark , or call (716) 354-9101 ext. 232.