Bogong moth

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Agrotis infusa, known as Bogong moth is a night-flying species of moth native to the Bogong mountains, in the Victorian Alps in New South Wales. Each year as the weather warms in southeast Australia, bogong moths prepare to migrate to the high country of the Snowy Mountains in southern New South Wales and the high plains of Victorian Alps.

The name of the mountains Bogong High Plains derives from the dhudhuroa and waywurru native languages and means “when people collected the boo.gong.fly”.

It is notable for appearing in large numbers in Canberra, the capital city of Australia, during Spring as it migrates to the Bogong High Plains to escape the harsh summer. In this part of Australia, most of the adult moths congregate in huge numbers over the summer.

It grows in rock shelters: cracks were covered with layers of these moths, which were detached from the hole and then collected by people.
Bogong moth has a brown to black body with a wingspan of up to 5 centimeters. It can be recognized by the unique markings on its wings: it has a dark arrow shaped spot, a dark comma shaped spot and a lighter spot all on the top two wings.
Adult bogongs feed on nectar and, during migration, are often seen feeding at dusk on flowers such as grevilleas.

Moths are cooked in sand and stirred in ashes, after cooking their heads must be removed. After this state, they were generally eaten and sometimes they were added into a paste for cakes.

Australian aborigines had a good knowledge and understanding of the habits of the bogong moth, which has long been a source of protein for the indigenous people of the region. But nowadays entomophagy has reduced among them because of the increasing adoption of European diets. Also, the loss of traditional lands has resulted in reduced access to native food and intense decrease of native habitat for agriculture purpose.

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Territory

StateAustralia
Region

New South Wales

Other info

Categories

Insects

Indigenous community:Australian aborigines
Nominated by:Paolo Naccarati
Arca del GustoThe traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.