Scientific Name: Agrotis infusa
Other Common Names:
Species documented in 1832 by Boisduval.
The Bogong Moth is a large moth, with a wingspan of up to 6cms. A mottled blackish or brownish wing with patches of white.
The moth lays up to 200 eggs near the soil, with larvae emerging approximately four weeks later. The larvae feed on plants and therefore have been reported to be a pest by farmers of the past.
Found in eastern Australia, usually visible starting in the Spring. They are occasionly found on Norfolk Island and also New Zealand. In the summer months, the moths aestivate in caves or crevices and survive from the fat reserves of their bodies. Bogong Moths can cover entire cave walls when aestivating. During aestivation, it has also been noted that a small number of moths may become active shortly after sunset for a short period of time. It was noted that the moths flew an ‘intense, random flight’ and then returned to aestivate (Common, 1954).
The Bogong Moth is commonly preyed upon by the Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus) (Mansergh and Broome, 1994). Historically, Aboriginal people from around the Australian Alps fed on the Bogong Moth (Flood, 1980). The bodies of the moths are very fatty, with up to 61% of their dry weight being fat content.
Common, I. 1964. A study of the ecology of the adult Bogong Moth, Argotis infusa (Boisd.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), with special reference to its behaviour during migration and aestivation, Australian Journal of Zoology, Volume 2, No. 2. pp 223-263. Flood, J. 1980. The Moth Hunters, The Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.
Mansergh, I & Broome, L. 1994. The mountain pygmy possum of the Australian Alps, University of New South Wales.