2,000-Year-Old Moth Meal Discovered in Australia

2,000-Year-Old Moth Meal Discovered in Australia

Cloggs Cave near Buchan, in eastern Victoria's alpine region, is located on ancestral territory of the Gunaikurnai people. This is the location of the first conclusive archaeological evidence of insect food remains found on a stone tool. They are the remnants of an ancient moth.

This discovery not only represents the earliest conclusive archaeological evidence of insect food remains found on a stone artifact anywhere, not just in Australia but in the world, but it also promises to provide fresh insights into traditional Gunaikurnai people’s food and culinary practices.

The Ancient Moth that Sparked a Rebirth

Cloggs Cave was excavated for the first time in 50 years by a team of researchers from Monash University, working with traditional owners from the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Corporation ( GLaWAC). The ancient remains of the Bogong moth were found lying upon a small grinding stone tool that has been dated to 2,000 years old. Gunaikurnai Elder, Russell Mullett, said the discovery of the ancient moth remains provided a deeper understanding of Aboriginal food practices, which includes “oral histories about eating the Bogong moth.”

Gunaikurnai Elder Russell Mullett and Professor Bruno David have been working on a series of excavation projects at sites throughout East Gippsland. (GLaWAC)

Every summer the Bogong moth migrates to Victoria's alpine country from southern Queensland via New South Wales . Cloggs Cave is located 72 meters (236.22 ft.) above sea level and it was seasonally occupied by Gunaikurnai's Krauatungalung clan during the warmer months in East Gippsland.

According to a report on ABC.AU the Gunaikurnai people travelled to the high country to feast on the billions of fat, protein packed moths, when other animal food supplies and resources were slack. Mr. Mullett said his ancestors developed a range of different moth meals including “cooking them in a fire or grinding them into cakes or paste, which could then be smoked and preserved for weeks.”

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For at least 2,000 years, said Mr. Mullet, this ancient grindstone has, “been sitting idle with a story to tell and a single artefact has sparked the rebirth of knowledge to help tell the stories of my people.”

The ancient moth remains were discovered on the Cloggs Cave grindstone. (A) Surface A, with the accretion that formed across parts of the surface after its use. (B) Surface B. (C) Margin A. (D) Margin B. (E) Narrow end. The numbers in circles are the residue sample numbers; the ‘control’ samples are in areas where grinding did not take place. ( Richard Fullagar )

2000 Years of Moth Meals

According to Monash University Archaeologist Professor Bruno David in a University article, the conditions inside the limestone cave helped preserve the Bogong moth remains. He told the Independent that the cool ambient temperature made the soils more alkaline and less acidic, and this means they're perfectly suited to preserve organic materials. Applying a seldom used analysis technique known as “biochemical staining” the grinding stone tool and the moth remains were set on a microscope slide and stained with a special dye that makes collagen and proteins [crushed-up insect remains] within rock fluorescent, therefore, easier to identify.

Professor David said the results of the moth analysis have “opened our eyes up to ancient food cultures.” The study shows how indigenous people travelled and interacted with different landscapes at different times of the year for the lasty 2,000 years. And putting this timeframe into historical context, 2000 years represents about 80 generations of Gunaikurnai people. However, the Bogong moth is now so rare that Victorians have been encouraged to report sightings of Bogong moths as part of its citizen science Moth Tracker initiative .

Fall of the Mighty Ruler of the Night

How did the numbers of Bogong moths come from countless billions only 2000 years ago, to virtually none left today? Professor David had a go at answering this question and he said a range of contributing factors were at play to cause this sharp decline.

Thousands of moths per square meter estivating on a rock surface. ( Eric Warrant )

Firstly, looking at the “human factor,” the researcher explained that perhaps the number one reason for the species demise was modern agricultural pesticides, which he said “are becoming a major factor” in the decline of many species. Furthermore, it is known that city lights can disorientate migrating nocturnal moths and they simply “lose their way,” he said. Then, on top of all these manmade pressures, mother nature is compounding the problem with lower amounts of rainfall, and hard winter season droughts.


2,000-Year-Old Moth Meal Discovered in Australia - History


Thousands of years before the arrival of the British, Australia was settled by the indigenous people of Australia called the Aborigines. This timeline begins when the Europeans first arrived.

  • 1606 - The first European to land at Australia is Dutch explorer Captain Willem Janszoon.
  • 1688 - English explorer William Dampier explores the western coast of Australia.
  • 1770 - Captain James Cook lands at Botany Bay with his ship, the HMS Endeavour. He then proceeds to map the eastern coast of Australia, claiming it for Great Britain.
  • 1788 - The first British settlement is established at Sydney by Captain Arthur Phillip. It is the start of the British penal colony which is made up of mostly prisoners.
  • 1803 - Australia is proven to be an island when English navigator Matthew Flinders completes his sail around the island.



Brief Overview of the History of Australia

Australia was first inhabited perhaps 40,000 years ago by aboriginal peoples. During the Age of Exploration, the land was discovered and mapped by many Europeans including the Spanish, Dutch and English. However, Australia wasn't really explored until 1770 when Captain James Cook explored the east coast and claimed it for Great Britain. He named it New South Wales.


The first colony was established at Sydney by Captain Arthur Phillip on January 26, 1788. It was initially considered a penal colony. This was because many of the first settlers were criminals. Britain would sometimes send their criminals to the penal colony rather than jail. Oftentimes, the crimes that people committed were small or even made up to get rid of unwanted citizens. Slowly, more and more of the settlers were not convicts. Sometimes you will still hear people refer to Australia as being started by a penal colony.

Six colonies were formed in Australia: New South Wales, 1788 Tasmania, 1825 Western Australia, 1829 South Australia, 1836 Victoria, 1851 and Queensland, 1859. These same colonies later became the states of the Australian Commonwealth.

On January 1, 1901 the British Government passed an act to create the Commonwealth of Australia. In 1911, the Northern Territory became part of the Commonwealth.

The first federal Parliament was opened at Melbourne in May 1901 by the Duke of York. Later, in 1927, the center of government and parliament moved to the city of Canberra. Australia took part in both World War I and World War II allied with Great Britain and the United States.


Remains of a 2,000-year-old Bogong moth is first evidence early humans used tools to eat bugs

Scientists in Australia have uncovered the first archaeological evidence of insects being used as a food source by ancient Australian Aboriginal groups.

Particles on a grindstone discovered in the foothills of the Australian Alps were determined to be from a Bogong moth, which migrates to the area every summer.

The tool, small to be carried around by its owner, is estimated to be about 2,000 years old.

The discovery is the earliest evidence of insect food on a stone artifact anywhere on Earth, and offers a rare insight into the food culture of ancient Aboriginal people in Australia.

A grindstone discovered in a cave in Southeastern Australia is the first archaeological evidence that ancient Aboriginal groups harvested Bogong moths as far back as 2,000 years ago

According to oral tradition, for a millennia native Australians climbed the Alps to gather bogong moths, which migrate to the region each summer.

They would use sticks to scrape the insects, then in their dormant phase, off cave walls into their nets and plates.

The harvest was something of a festival, with members of different clans reconnecting and feasting together.

High in fat and protein, the months make for a great food source but there was little evidence of this harvest dating further back than the early 19th century.

According to oral tradition, native Australians climbed the mountains to harvest Bogong moths from cave walls. They would use sticks to scrape the insects, then in their dormant phase, into their nets

In 2019 researchers from Monash University uncovered a small grindstone during an excavation of Cloggs Cave, a rockshelter located in the foothills of eastern Victoria’s Australian Alps.

Analysis of the tool, estimated to be 2,000 years old, revealed damaged and partly carbonized Bogong moth wings, collagen and other structures.

Microscopic analysis of the grindstone revealed Bogong moth collagen, damaged and partly carbonized wings and other structures. The moths were sometimes cooked on an open fire and eaten immediately, or ground into a ‘moth cake’ that could be preserved

Not only was it confirmation of the moth harvest, it’s the earliest example of insect food on a stone artifact anywhere on earth.

Located in southeastern Australia on lands belonging to the Krauatungalung clan of the Gunaikurnai peoples, Cloggs Cave is a fertile repository of Aboriginal artifacts.

The cave was first excavated in the 1970s, with evidence suggesting it was probably first occupied around 17,000 years ago as a seasonal hunting shelter.

The artifact was discovered in Cloggs Cave, a rockshelter in the foothills of the Australian Alps that was first inhabited by Aboriginal groups some 17,000 years ago

Every summer, Bogong moths migrate hundreds of miles from southern Queensland, western New South Wales and other areas to the mountain caves of southeast Australia

The moths were prepared a number of different ways, including being cooked on an open fire and gobbled up.

They could also be ground into a cake that could be smoked and preserved for later.

British settlers in the 1830s wrote about Aboriginal groups harvesting the moths, and clans in the area have oral histories of their ancestors eating them.

But there was never any archaeological evidence the practice was an ancient tradition and, within a few decades of colonization, the harvest tradition was abandoned.

‘A lack of archaeological studies of insect food remains has resulted in a downplay or omission of the use of insects from archaeological narratives and deep-time community histories,’ said archaeologist Bruno David of the Monash Indigenous Studies Center.

‘Food is an expression of culture: think of snails and frogs’ legs and we think of French culture, we associate spaghetti with Italy,’ added David, lead author of a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Archaeologists at Cloggs Cave, first excavated in the 1970s. Though Bogong moths once blanketed caves like this one, their numbers have plummeted in recent years

‘The absence of an iconic Aboriginal food from the archaeological record is tantamount to the silencing of Aboriginal food cultures. Now we have a new way of bringing it back into the story.’

The insect remains were between 1,600 and 2,100 years old, indicating Bogong moths have been harvested by up to 65 generations of Aboriginal families.

Russell Mullett, a GunaiKurnai elder, said the discovery confirms a severed cultural history.

‘Historical records are witness to our people going to the mountains for the Bogong moths but this project tells us that it also happened in the deeper past,’ Mullett said.

‘Because our people no longer travel to the mountains for Bogong moth festivals, the oral histories aren’t shared anymore, it’s a lost tradition.’

In the 20th century, Indigenous Australians revived the harvest tradition, creating what became the Mungabareena Ngan-Girra Festival or Bogong Moth Festival.

The insects are said to have a nutty flavor, similar to almonds or peanut butter, and are often enjoyed as barbecue.

‘The world has become a different place, but for 2,000 years this grindstone has been sitting idle with a story to tell,’ Mullett said.

‘A single artifact has sparked the rebirth of knowledge that helps to tell the story of the GunaiKurnai people.’

But the discovery comes as the Bogong moth population is plummeting.

In summers past, billions of the bugs have taken refuge in the areas but, for the past half-decade, some caves haven’t had a single flutter.

In years past, billions of Bogong moths have taken refuge in the Australian Alps but, for the past half-decade, some caves haven’t had a single flutter

‘We’re talking about caves that normally would have tens of millions of moths in each, easily,’ Swedish entomologist Eric Warrant told the Australian Broadcasting gCompany in 2019.

Bogong moths used to migrate to places like Mount Kosciuszko from breeding grounds more than a thousand miles aways, but droughts have decimated their numbers in recent years, Warrant said.

‘Normally there is at least enough rain for the vegetation to be able to grow sufficiently to feed the caterpillars, but that hasn’t been the case this year or last year,’ he said.

‘It’s a reflection of climate change and the way things are in the world at the moment. It’s confronting to see this to be honest.’

It’s not clear how serious the problem, is as little long-term research has been done on the size of the Bogong moth population.

They are a major part of the diet of local wildlife, including the mountain pygmy possum, already considered a threatened species.

ARE ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS THE OLDEST CONTINUOUS SOCIETY ON EARTH?

The most detailed genetic study of Aboriginal Australians, published in 2016, confirmed that the group is the oldest continuous civilization on the planet.

The civilization dates back more than 50,000 years, according to the paper, which was published alongside two others in Nature.

The research led by an international team claims that around 72,000 years ago, a group of migrants began the journey out of Africa that would ultimately shape the future of humanity.

The researchers found that the ‘overwhelming majority’ of non-African populations stem from a single migration from Africa 72,000 years ago.

Along with this, they found evidence that Aboriginal Australians are descended directly from the first people to inhabit Australia.

And, the DNA revealed traces of DNA which suggest modern humans interbred with an early human species that has not yet been characterized as they migrated through Asia.

The researchers also say there appears to be a mysterious dispersal that occurred in Australia roughly 4,000 years ago.

While these migrants shaped speech and thought, they experienced a ‘ghost-like’ disappearance.


British settlement begins in Australia

On January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. After overcoming a period of hardship, the fledgling colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with great fanfare and it eventually became commemorated as Australia Day. In recent times, Australia Day has become increasingly controversial as it marks the start of when the continent&aposs Indigenous people were gradually dispossessed of their land as white colonization spread across the continent.

Australia, once known as New South Wales, was originally planned as a penal colony. In October 1786, the British government appointed Arthur Phillip captain of the HMS Sirius, and commissioned him to establish an agricultural work camp there for British convicts. With little idea of what he could expect from the mysterious and distant land, Phillip had great difficulty assembling the fleet that was to make the journey. His requests for more experienced farmers to assist the penal colony were repeatedly denied, and he was both poorly funded and outfitted. Nonetheless, accompanied by a small contingent of Marines and other officers, Phillip led his 1,000-strong party, of whom more than 700 were convicts, around Africa to the eastern side of Australia. In all, the voyage lasted eight months, claiming the deaths of some 30 men.

The first years of settlement were nearly disastrous. Cursed with poor soil, an unfamiliar climate and workers who were ignorant of farming, Phillip had great difficulty keeping the men alive. The colony was on the verge of outright starvation for several years, and the marines sent to keep order were not up to the task. Phillip, who proved to be a tough but fair-minded leader, persevered by appointing convicts to positions of responsibility and oversight. Floggings and hangings were commonplace, but so was egalitarianism. As Phillip said before leaving England: “In a new country there will be no slavery and hence no slaves.”


Talk:Indianmeal moth

Hi, I changed some sentence structure in the lead section. I corrected citations so they appeared after the period. I changed the title systematics to the more conventional on Wikipedia, taxonomy. I broke large paragraphs up in the description section. I added some terminology to the changes in fecundity section about olfactory receptors. I also added information about cannibalism of siblings and kinship selection. Interesting sections on parasites and immunity. I would recommend expanding the lead section and clarifying the section on food and pupation site competition. Felderp (talk) 03:26, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

Hi All, I spent some time checking out the previous edits and I believe this article is now worthy of Good Article Status. Everything is detailed and there are many sections covering all sorts of topics about the moth. The credibility of the sources is strong as well. Great work! Iginsberg (talk) 03:58, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

Hi Indian mealmoth enthusiasts,

I just added 18 different sections to the article. Please feel free to go through them and make edits. Hopefully, we can get this article to improve in status together! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vkrishnan2 (talk • contribs) 20:02, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

Vkrishnan2, great work on this article! I just have a couple small suggestions: in the overview, you mention that the Indian mealmoth is often confused with the almond moth without an explanation of why --this could be an interesting addition. You also did a good job incorporating subsections in improve the structure of the article. Under the Life history section, you could add a Pupation subsection to make the section more complete and re-allot some of the information about pupation that you include under Adulthood. Thanks! Hanna peterman (talk) 00:43, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

Hi Alexfree. I uploaded another picture. It's clearer and shows the main characteristics. Hope you don't mind. )

Where do i get the little traps for the indian meal moth?

I bought meal moth trap an ebay. The traps work well to tell where they are coming from but they are not effective to elimiate them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Julesdesign (talk • contribs) 02:54, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry but I can see no linguistic justification for "Indianmeal" as one word, it just doesn't make sense. It is a "meal moth" "from" India. I reverted the last edit and suggest we revert "Indianmeal" to "Indian meal" throughout—GRM (talk) 17:29, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I reverted Grmanners because the existing references for the article use "Indianmeal" as one word. But checking, I'm not sure which is correct. Both appear to be used in biological scientific sources. Indianmeal moth (Plodia interpunctella), sometimes also called the Indian meal moth . " or vice versa.) GRBerry 19:18, 16 July 2008 (UTC) Google searching for "Indianmeal moth" yields about 10,400 results, while doing the same for "Indian meal moth" yields 42,700. Consequently, the latter wins on the Web however, I am amazed that the former ever got into use, it just looks so "wrong"!—GRM (talk) 18:07, 18 July 2008 (UTC) One thing I've encountered with other articles is that the Google results can vary by Google site with google.com, google.co.uk and the Australian google site all giving different "primary" results. This is something to keep in mind for the future. GRBerry 19:35, 19 July 2008 (UTC) I believe that the confusion may be the result of - or at least greatly helped by - the 1997 edition of ESA's Common Names of Insects and Other Arthropods. In this book - the last version printed - the common name of Plodia interpunctella was listed as "Indian meal moth." However, sometime after the book was published, the online version (now the only version) stated "Indian meal moth" was a mistake and the correct common name is "Indianmeal moth." Trfasulo 19:47 17 July 2008 (UTC) It is also a very natural change to make, especially for a common name. The scientific literature (that I linked above) is using both sets. I'd definitely prefer to rely on the scientific literature, and even more so the most authoritative literature over minor papers. But I don't know this field well enough to know what the most authoritative literature is. If both of you agree on the right name to use, I'll agree. I won't be the tie-breaker though. So feel free to ask at the relevant project or WP:3O to get another opinion. GRBerry 19:35, 19 July 2008 (UTC) Discussion started at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Lepidoptera#Indian_meal_moth—GRM (talk) 18:05, 20 July 2008 (UTC) I tend to support the three word status quo title although http://www.pestworld.org/For-Consumers/Pest-Guide/Pest/Indian-Meal-Moths suggests the etymology of Indian-meal rather than Plodia standing for meal-moth. But joining Indian with meal without a hyphen is an American style that works ok in some combinations, but is rather odd sounding with the successive consonants "nm". Shyamal (talk) 18:41, 20 July 2008 (UTC) I favour three word name unless someone can show that the name refers to a mealmoth from India/connected with Indians or that there is something called Indianmeal which this moth eats. AshLin (talk) 06:24, 21 July 2008 (UTC) It has been my experience that people from the pest control industry (with several noteworthy exceptions), but not entomologists with graduate school backgrounds, tend to be freewheeling when it comes to the writing/spelling of common names. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) site cited just above lists this species as "Indian Meal Moths", "Indian Meal Moth" and "indianmeal moth" on the same page. The latest version of the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control lists it as "Indian Meal Moth" - three words, all starting with upper case letters - upper case letters also being commonly used by pest control industry personnel/editors for most insects, often even in the middle of sentences. The NPMA Field Guide to Structural Pests by Eric Smith and Richard Whitman (both well respected entomologists) lists it as "Indianmeal moth" with this information: ". given its common name by an early American entomologist (Asa Fitch) who found it feeding on cornmeal (Indian meal)." Most of the people editing/writing pest control industry online or paper publications do not even have a B.S. in entomology. I am not saying this to show they are unprofessional in their profession, but to show that many are not educated in the finer details of scientific and common names as are professional entomologists. 72.148.79.221 (Trfasulo ) 01:37, 26 July 2008 (UTC) You may find the discussions on such topics in the bird world of interest http://www.worldbirdnames.org/rules-compound.html http://www.museum.lsu.edu/

Explanation of the name and page move Edit

The common name for this insect was coined by Asa Fitch (1809-1879), a New York State entomologist. In his book First and second report on the noxious, beneficial and other insects of the State of New York (1856), he describes a species of moth which feeds on "Indian meal" (what we now call cornmeal). He refers to this species as the "Indian meal moth" or "Indian-meal moth" (reflecting contemporary spellings of cornmeal). The common name has nothing whatsoever to do with India. Since the term "Indian meal" (or Indian-meal/Indianmeal) is no longer used, this name is confusing. I think the change to the "Indianmeal" spelling was an attempt to rectify this confusion without making the more radical change to "Cornmeal moth". I would like to move this article to "Indianmeal moth" for the following reasons:

  1. Despite earlier claims in this discussion, I get roughly equal hits for the two spellings in Google (44,000-51,00 for "Indian meal moth" and 48,500-48,800 for "Indianmeal moth"), thus neither spelling seems to be significantly more popular at present.
  2. The NPCA and most professional entomological publications seem to be tending towards "Indianmeal" these days.
  3. The "Indianmeal" spelling is less confusing since it does not imply that the moth is from India, and is closer to the modern spelling of cornmeal for which it was named.
  4. The text in the article currently uses "Indianmeal" so the title of the article should be consistant.
  • I am not at all convinced with this move. Linguistically, if the moth feeds on "Indian meal", then I'd hyphenate the adjectival form "Indian-meal Moth", but this clearly isn't going to satisfy the Google search. From the Wikipedia side, I thought that suggested moves were supposed to generate significant support or at least general apathy before going ahead. This one did neither. However, I am not going to start a naming war by reverting this change. —GRM (talk) 12:40, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Sorry, maybe I jumped the gun on the move. I just didn't like having the title and article text conflicting. I'm certainly open to further debate on it. BTW, I have included both spellings in the intro sentence now and added a section on the etymology of the name. (I also added a new picture to the infobox and did some general clean-up of the article.) Kaldari (talk) 20:41, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

I was just reading the WP report regarding the concern that active editors are not increasing and wondering why. I then switched to my Talk page and saw a message about the Indianmeal moth from long ago. I clicked on it to see what was going on with the page and saw the page still reflects the opinion of many that "Indianmeal moth" should be either "Indian meal moth" or "Indian-meal moth." Frankly, I am puzzled. Why should these latter two names be suggested as possible alternatives or even the primary name, when, as I mentioned above several years ago, the Entomological Society of America's Committee for Common Names of Insects and Other Arthropods has determined the correct, officially recognized name for this species is "Indianmeal moth." This is an originally American species which was first described in the United States---not India. Since this scientific committee is the one authorized to determine the common name, at least on this side of the Atlantic, where do others get the idea they can argue with it? This is the attitude which led me to stop doing significant editing on WP. I have had this problem with a number of other pages (entomology, history, etc.) and wonder why I should bother with WP. Just as another example, I edited a page on a U.S. Marine Corps unit I had experience with, as in actually served in. I mentioned this fact in the talk page as well as the fact I was a U.S.M.C. officer for 12 years. But then my edit was reverted by someone who says they know better. Checking that person's page I find the reason they know better than I is because they are a student in journalism school. That was when I realized I was wasting my time doing extensive editing in WP. Thomas R. Fasulo (talk) 00:41, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

@Trfasulo: The problem really is that entomologists do not engage with the general public. It is fairly clear that Indianmeal moth is the majority form on Google Scholar although I see that the hyphenated version also occurs in old USDA and other entomological texts. It appears that the article was moved against the results of this discussion. I have moved it back to where User:Kaldari had placed it in 2009. What this calls for is not attrition from entomologists but greater engagement from larger numbers of them. Shyamal (talk) 03:13, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

I highly doubt that a simple sticky trap without some sort of lure works. It is not cited, so it needs to be or we should get rid of this statement. Also, what about the bay leaves? I haven't found any great sources that support this.MATThematical (talk) 04:35, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

It has been my experience that sticky paper without lure is worthless for Indianmeal moths. The statement needs to be deleted.TL36 (talk) 05:27, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I had an infestation with the Indian Meal Moth and the Beige Clothing Moths. The larvae inhabited the under pad of my couch and bed, clothing, towels, slippers and more. Clothing Moths and Indian Meal Moths are not just akin to feeding on grain.

I find these species everywhere at malls and the gym. People often bring these home with their purchase. It does not surprise me when I hear or see a home with a moth infestation.

  1. Use pheromone Moth traps (found online) to locate the moth's area of highest concentration
  2. Once the area of highest concentration is located, isolate the room so they cannot infest other rooms.
  3. Assume the moth larvae's are everywhere in that room. Wash baseboards, vacuum, steam clean the floor, clean cracks in the wood floor, and go over the couch (arm rest, back side, crevices) looking for moth cocoons.

Possibly remove the under pad of the bed and sofa as they tend to feed off the content herein. Bug Spray may work for some hard to reach areas.

To kill the larvae, put textiles and clothing into the dryer for 30 minutes. If you cannot put the textiles into the dryer, put the clothing or linens in a plastic bag and in a freezer for about six hours +/-. These time periods are a subjective matter of opinion.

    1. Larvae gestations comes in waves subject to food availability and room temperature. Maintain the "lock down" mode for at least 10 days from the last moth sighting.
    2. I have found that Cedar and Lavender oil and scented bags have no effect to dissuade moths.
    3. The more meticulous your are with the sterilization process, the less likely moth larvae's will be overlooked to re-infest an area
    4. Keep food items that are prone to infestation in durable sealed bags or plastic containers.
    5. Moths are often located near the area they gestated from larvae to moth. Use this notion to locate the source area of infestation
    6. Clothing moths are especially drawn to the washroom for the humidity
    7. The moth traps work well to locate their source. I have found that they have limited effect on eliminating the problem.

    I was an entomologist at major university for over 33 years, and retired almost 9 years ago. Plus, I was one of the early editors of this page, and just checked back after doing some other editing of another page. I am the senior author of the UF Indianmeal moth publication listed in External links. Someone else has listed bears, dogs and cats as predators of this insect. As a result of all my experience with insect management, I find this astounding. Unless, they can cite a source for this, those animals should be deleted from "Predators." Thomas R. Fasulo (talk) 03:05, 10 February 2021 (UTC)

    Recently I had an infestation of these in my cabinet. They were only in the brown rice (sealed package) but not the white rice (unsealed package) so I'm guessing they home in on the nutrients of the brown rice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.215.15.219 (talk) 08:17, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

    I don't see this information out there, but from what I have discovered, the caterpillars are attracted to eating dried red chiles (they will even eat through plastic bags to get to it), but die after eating them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.236.31.128 (talk) 16:20, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

    "Moths can be deterred from the area by using essential oils and natural pantry moth spray."

    This assertion is made with zero supporting evidence. And whoever inserted this line didn't even bother to list what oils or ingredients they are talking about. Surely, in the absence of evidence, this sentence is ripe for deletion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.111.93.232 (talk) 14:52, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

    Please add photos of the instars.-71.174.177.113 (talk) 13:42, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

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    Hi! I am editing this page for a Behavioral Ecology course. Overall, this article is very clearly written and holds a lot of interesting information, and I made only minor general edits (grammar, sentence structure, etc.) throughout the page. My one suggestion would be to add more to the "Male pheromones" section, if possible. Nice work! LucasKat (talk) 03:34, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

    This article is really well done. The only thing I can think of is to maybe change the order of the first few sections. I'm used to seeing Description first, and I think you might also want Taxonomy to come before you go into Distribution. Just a thought, do whatever makes more sense to you! Mnoronha456 (talk) 05:21, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

    Reviewer: Cwmhiraeth (talk · contribs) 09:49, 11 January 2018 (UTC)


    I propose to review this, and will study it in detail shortly. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 09:49, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

    First reading Edit

    I have read through the article which is in general well-written. Here are a few points for starters:


    2,000-year-old moth first evidence humans used tools to eat bugs

    • An ancient grindstone with remains of a Bogong moth was found in a cave in the Australian Alps
    • Aboriginal groups would harvest the moths by scraping them off cave walls
    • High in fat and protein, they would be roasted on a fire or mashed into a ‘cake’
    • The moth festival ended shortly after colonists arrived in the 1800s

    Scientists in Australia have uncovered the first archaeological evidence of insects being used as a food source by ancient Australian Aboriginal groups.

    Particles on a grindstone discovered in the foothills of the Australian Alps were determined to be from a Bogong moth, which migrates to the area every summer.

    The tool, small to be carried around by its owner, is estimated to be about 2,000 years old.

    The discovery is the earliest evidence of insect food on a stone artifact anywhere on Earth, and offers a rare insight into the food culture of ancient Aboriginal people in Australia.

    A grindstone discovered in a cave in Southeastern Australia is the first archaeological evidence that ancient Aboriginal groups harvested Bogong moths as far back as 2,000 years ago

    According to oral tradition, for a millennia native Australians climbed the Alps to gather bogong moths, which migrate to the region each summer.

    They would use sticks to scrape the insects, then in their dormant phase, off cave walls into their nets and plates.

    The harvest was something of a festival, with members of different clans reconnecting and feasting together.

    High in fat and protein, the months make for a great food source but there was little evidence of this harvest dating further back than the early 19th century.

    According to oral tradition, native Australians climbed the mountains to harvest Bogong moths from cave walls. They would use sticks to scrape the insects, then in their dormant phase, into their nets

    In 2019 researchers from Monash University uncovered a small grindstone during an excavation of Cloggs Cave, a rockshelter located in the foothills of eastern Victoria’s Australian Alps.

    Analysis of the tool, estimated to be 2,000 years old, revealed damaged and partly carbonized Bogong moth wings, collagen and other structures.

    Microscopic analysis of the grindstone revealed Bogong moth collagen, damaged and partly carbonized wings and other structures. The moths were sometimes cooked on an open fire and eaten immediately, or ground into a ‘moth cake’ that could be preserved

    Not only was it confirmation of the moth harvest, it’s the earliest example of insect food on a stone artifact anywhere on earth.

    Located in southeastern Australia on lands belonging to the Krauatungalung clan of the Gunaikurnai peoples, Cloggs Cave is a fertile repository of Aboriginal artifacts.

    The cave was first excavated in the 1970s, with evidence suggesting it was probably first occupied around 17,000 years ago as a seasonal hunting shelter.

    The artifact was discovered in Cloggs Cave, a rockshelter in the foothills of the Australian Alps that was first inhabited by Aboriginal groups some 17,000 years ago

    Every summer, Bogong moths migrate hundreds of miles from southern Queensland, western New South Wales and other areas to the mountain caves of southeast Australia

    The moths were prepared a number of different ways, including being cooked on an open fire and gobbled up.

    They could also be ground into a cake that could be smoked and preserved for later.

    British settlers in the 1830s wrote about Aboriginal groups harvesting the moths, and clans in the area have oral histories of their ancestors eating them.

    But there was never any archaeological evidence the practice was an ancient tradition and, within a few decades of colonization, the harvest tradition was abandoned.

    ‘A lack of archaeological studies of insect food remains has resulted in a downplay or omission of the use of insects from archaeological narratives and deep-time community histories,’ said archaeologist Bruno David of the Monash Indigenous Studies Center.

    ‘Food is an expression of culture: think of snails and frogs’ legs and we think of French culture, we associate spaghetti with Italy,’ added David, lead author of a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

    Archaeologists at Cloggs Cave, first excavated in the 1970s. Though Bogong moths once blanketed caves like this one, their numbers have plummeted in recent years

    ‘The absence of an iconic Aboriginal food from the archaeological record is tantamount to the silencing of Aboriginal food cultures. Now we have a new way of bringing it back into the story.’

    The insect remains were between 1,600 and 2,100 years old, indicating Bogong moths have been harvested by up to 65 generations of Aboriginal families.

    Russell Mullett, a GunaiKurnai elder, said the discovery confirms a severed cultural history.

    ‘Historical records are witness to our people going to the mountains for the Bogong moths but this project tells us that it also happened in the deeper past,’ Mullett said.

    ‘Because our people no longer travel to the mountains for Bogong moth festivals, the oral histories aren’t shared anymore, it’s a lost tradition.’

    In the 20th century, Indigenous Australians revived the harvest tradition, creating what became the Mungabareena Ngan-Girra Festival or Bogong Moth Festival.

    The insects are said to have a nutty flavor, similar to almonds or peanut butter, and are often enjoyed as barbecue.

    ‘The world has become a different place, but for 2,000 years this grindstone has been sitting idle with a story to tell,’ Mullett said.

    ‘A single artifact has sparked the rebirth of knowledge that helps to tell the story of the GunaiKurnai people.’

    But the discovery comes as the Bogong moth population is plummeting.

    In summers past, billions of the bugs have taken refuge in the areas but, for the past half-decade, some caves haven’t had a single flutter.

    In years past, billions of Bogong moths have taken refuge in the Australian Alps but, for the past half-decade, some caves haven’t had a single flutter

    ‘We’re talking about caves that normally would have tens of millions of moths in each, easily,’ Swedish entomologist Eric Warrant told the Australian Broadcasting gCompany in 2019.

    Bogong moths used to migrate to places like Mount Kosciuszko from breeding grounds more than a thousand miles aways, but droughts have decimated their numbers in recent years, Warrant said.

    ‘Normally there is at least enough rain for the vegetation to be able to grow sufficiently to feed the caterpillars, but that hasn’t been the case this year or last year,’ he said.

    ‘It’s a reflection of climate change and the way things are in the world at the moment. It’s confronting to see this to be honest.’

    It’s not clear how serious the problem, is as little long-term research has been done on the size of the Bogong moth population.

    They are a major part of the diet of local wildlife, including the mountain pygmy possum, already considered a threatened species.

    ARE ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS THE OLDEST CONTINUOUS SOCIETY ON EARTH?

    The most detailed genetic study of Aboriginal Australians, published in 2016, confirmed that the group is the oldest continuous civilization on the planet.

    The civilization dates back more than 50,000 years, according to the paper, which was published alongside two others in Nature.

    The research led by an international team claims that around 72,000 years ago, a group of migrants began the journey out of Africa that would ultimately shape the future of humanity.

    The researchers found that the ‘overwhelming majority’ of non-African populations stem from a single migration from Africa 72,000 years ago.

    Along with this, they found evidence that Aboriginal Australians are descended directly from the first people to inhabit Australia.

    And, the DNA revealed traces of DNA which suggest modern humans interbred with an early human species that has not yet been characterized as they migrated through Asia.

    The researchers also say there appears to be a mysterious dispersal that occurred in Australia roughly 4,000 years ago.

    While these migrants shaped speech and thought, they experienced a ‘ghost-like’ disappearance.


    Later explorations

    Cook’s voyages led to settlement but did not complete the exploration of the Australian coasts. Marion Dufresne of France skirted Tasmania in 1772, seeing more than had Tasman. The count de La Pérouse, another French explorer, made no actual discoveries in Australia but visited Botany Bay early in 1788. In 1791 the British navigator George Vancouver traversed and described the southern shores discovered by Pieter Nuyts years before. The French explorer Joseph-Antoine Raymond de Bruni, chevalier d’Entrecasteaux, also did significant work, especially in southern Tasmania.

    Two Britons— George Bass, a naval surgeon, and Matthew Flinders, a naval officer—were the most famous postsettlement explorers. Together they entered some harbours on the coast near Botany Bay in 1795 and 1796. Bass ventured farther south in 1797–98, pushing around Cape Everard to Western Port. Flinders was in that region early in 1798, charting the Furneaux Islands. Late that year Flinders and Bass circumnavigated Tasmania in the Norfolk, establishing that it was an island and making further discoveries. Several other navigators, including merchantmen, filled out knowledge of the Bass Strait area most notable was the discovery of Port Phillip in 1802.

    Meanwhile Flinders had returned home and in 1801 was appointed to command an expedition that would circumnavigate Australia and virtually complete the charting of the continent. Over the next three years Flinders proved equal to this task. Above all, he left no doubt that the Australian continent was a single landmass. Appropriately, Flinders urged that the name Australia replace New Holland, and this change received official backing from 1817.

    France sponsored an expedition, similar in intent to Flinders’s, at the same time. Under Nicolas Baudin, it gave French names to many features (including “Terre Napoléon” for the southern coast) and gathered much information but did little new exploration. It was on the northern coast, from Arnhem Land to Cape York Peninsula, that more exploration was needed. Two Admiralty expeditions—under Phillip Parker King (1817–22) and John Clements Wickham (1838–39)—filled this gap.


    A rich food source

    The moths migrate in their billions from southern Queensland each year, through to New South Wales and eventually land in Victoria's alpine country to keep cool during the summer.

    Gunaikurnai people would travel to the high country to feast on the moths, taking advantage of their large numbers and high fat content which provided a rich food source when other animal food supplies were down.

    Different methods were used to create meals out of the moths, including cooking them in a fire or grinding them into cakes or paste, which could then be smoked and preserved for weeks.

    "For 2,000 years this grindstone has been sitting idle with a story to tell and a single artefact has sparked the rebirth of knowledge to help tell the stories of my people," Mr Mullett said.

    "It's critical for First Nations input into these projects because these remains are our properties, so we should make the decisions about how they're managed, who has access to them and what happens with them."


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      Aboriginal populations used Bogong moths as a food source 2,000 years ago, researchers find

      Researchers found food remains of Bogong moths on a stone tool in a cave in the foothills of the Australian Alps in Victoria. Image on the left is by Ajay Narendra and the Bogong moth-covered wall is by Eric Warrant.

      The first conclusive archaeological evidence of insects as a food source in Australia has been discovered by a group of archaeologists and traditional land owners.

      Led by Monash University and the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), the researchers found food remains of Bogong moths on a stone tool in a cave in the foothills of the Australian Alps in Victoria.

      The microscopic remains were found on a small, portable grindstone that would have been carried around by its owners during travels.

      The group can also lay claim to discovering the first conclusive archaeological evidence of insect food remains on stone artefacts anywhere in the world.

      The findings provide insights into the antiquity of important Aboriginal dietary practices that have until now remained archaeologically invisible.

      Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the group&rsquos paper, 2000 Year‑old Bogong moth (Agrotis infusa) Aboriginal food remains, Australia, outlines how they found microscopic remains of ground and cooked Bogong moths on a recently excavated grindstone from Cloggs Cave, in the southern foothills of the Australian Alps.

      Cloggs Cave is located 72m above sea level in the lands of the Krauatungalung clan of the GunaiKurnai Aboriginal peoples of southeastern Australia.

      The moths were considered by Aboriginal populations from multiple clans and language groups to provide an ample food source due to their large numbers and high fat content.

      An array of different methods were used to create meals from the moths, from cooking them in a fire or grinding them into cakes or a paste which could then be smoked and preserved for weeks.

      Early settler writings from the 1830s-1850s reported congregations of Aboriginal groups took advantage of the annual migration of the moths in and near the Australian Alps.

      While many Aboriginal groups from SE Australia have oral histories of their ancestors eating Bogong moths, no reliable archaeological evidence of Bogong moth exploitation or processing has ever been discovered, signalling a major gap in the archaeological history of Aboriginal groups, researchers said.

      &ldquoA lack of archaeological studies of insect food remains has resulted in a downplay or omission of the use of insects from archaeological narratives and deep-time community histories,&rdquo said coordinating archaeologist and Monash University&rsquos Professor Bruno David of the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre.

      &ldquoFood is an expression of culture: think of snails and frogs&rsquo legs and we think of French culture, we associate spaghetti with Italy. The absence of an iconic Aboriginal food from the archaeological record is tantamount to the silencing of Aboriginal food cultures. Now we have a new way of bringing it back into the story.&rdquo

      The group excavated a small grindstone in 2019 and independent archaeologist and pharmacologist Birgitta Stephenson then studied the grindstone under the microscope, finding damaged and partly carbonised Bogong moth wing, collagen and moth structures using adapted biochemical staining protocols.

      The remains were found to be between 1,600 and 2,100 years old.

      The researchers said this indicates Bogong moths would have been harvested, prepared and cooked by up to 65 generations of Aboriginal families.

      The Bogong moths were used for food during their summer feasts, as documented in the 1800s and in current oral traditions and Aboriginal groups coordinated social congregations with the arrival of the Bogong moths during the warmer months.

      &ldquoThe archaeological visibility of Bogong moth remains on stone tools therefore now helps archaeologists better understand how people moved across the landscape in the deeper past,&rdquo said Professor David.

      &ldquoIt&rsquos important to note, however, the cessation of the annual Bogong moth festivals within three decades of colonial intrusion in and surrounding the Australian Alps until their revival in the twentieth century, coupled with what has been until now an inability to recover definitive archaeological traces of Bogong moths, has denied their inclusion in deep-time Aboriginal histories.&rdquo

      Russell Mullett, GunaiKurnai Elder and GLaWAC Registered Aboriginal Party Manager, said the project reflected a severed cultural history.

      &ldquoHistorical records are witness to our people going to the mountains for the Bogong moths but this project tells us that it also happened in the deeper past,&rdquo he said. &ldquoBecause our people no longer travel to the mountains for Bogong moth festivals, the oral histories aren&rsquot shared anymore, it&rsquos a lost tradition.

      &ldquoThe world has become a different place, but for 2,000 years this grindstone has been sitting idle with a story to tell. A single artefact has sparked the rebirth of knowledge that helps to tell the story of the GunaiKurnai people.&rdquo

      Archaeological excavations were first undertaken in 1971&ndash1972, followed by a new program of excavations in 2019&ndash2020, initiated by GLaWAC and directed by Professor David.


      Ancient discovery set to rewrite Australian history

      Five copper coins and a nearly 70-year-old map with an ‘‘X’’ might lead to a discovery that could rewrite Australia’s history.

      Australian scientist Ian McIntosh, currently Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University in the US, plans an expedition in July that has stirred up the archaeological community.

      The scientist wants to revisit the location where five coins were found in the Northern Territory in 1944 that have proven to be 1000 years old, opening up the possibility that seafarers from distant countries might have landed in Australia much earlier than what is currently believed.

      Back in 1944 during World War II, after Japanese bombers had attacked Darwin two years earlier, the Wessel Islands - an uninhabited group of islands off Australia’s north coast - had become a strategic position to help protect the mainland.

      Australian soldier Maurie Isenberg was stationed on one of the islands to man a radar station and spent his spare time fishing on the idyllic beaches.

      While sitting in the sand with his fishing-rod, he discovered a handful of coins in the sand.

      He didn’t have a clue where they could come from but pocketed them anyway and later placed them in a tin.

      In 1979 he rediscovered his ‘‘treasure’’ and decided to send the coins to a museum to get them identified.

      The coins proved to be 1000 years old.Still not fully realising what treasure he held in his hands, he marked an old colleague’s map with an ‘‘X’’ to remember where he had found them.

      The discovery was apparently forgotten again until anthropologist McIntosh got the ball rolling a few months ago.

      The coins raise many important questions: How did 1000-year-old coins end up on a remote beach on an island off the northern coast of Australia?

      Did explorers from distant lands arrive on Australian shores way before James Cook claimed it for the British throne in 1770?

      We do know already that Captain Cook wasn’t the first white seafarer to step on Australia’s shores.

      In 1606 a Dutch explorer named Willem Janszoon reached the Cape York peninsula in Queensland, closely followed a few years late by another Dutch seafarer Dirk Hartog.

      And the Spaniard Luiz Vaez de Torres discovered the strait between Papua New Guinea and Australia, which was later named Torres Strait in his honour.

      However, none of these explorers recognised that they had discovered the famed southern continent, the ‘‘terra australis incognita’’, which was depicted as a counterweight to the known land masses of the northern hemisphere on many world maps of the day.

      McIntosh and his team of Australian and American historians, archaeologists, geomorphologists and Aboriginal rangers say that the five coins date back to the 900s to 1300s.

      They are African coins from the former Kilwa sultanate, now a World Heritage ruin on an island off Tanzania.

      Kilwa once was a flourishing trade port with links to India in the 13th to 16th century.

      The trade with gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabian stone ware, Persian ceramics and Chinese porcelain made the city one of the most influential towns in East Africa at the time.

      The copper coins were the first coins ever produced in sub-Saharan Africa and according to McIntosh have only twice been found outside Africa: once in Oman and Isenberg’s find in 1944.

      The old coins might not be of monetary value, but for archaeologists they are priceless, says McIntosh.

      Archaeologists have long suspected that there may have been early maritime trading routes that linked East Africa, Arabia, India and the Spice Islands even 1,000 years ago.

      Or the coins could’ve washed ashore after a shipwreck.

      When Isenberg discovered the copper coins he also found four coins that originated from the Dutch East India Company - with one dating back to 1690 raising memories of those early Dutch seafarers that stepped on Australian shores well before Cook.

      McIntosh wants to answer some of these mysteries during his planned expedition to the Wessel Islands in July.

      And it’s not only about revisiting the beach that was marked with an ‘‘X’’ on Isenberg’s map.

      He will also be looking for a secret cave Aboriginal legends talk about.

      This cave is supposed to be close to the beach where Isenberg once found the coins and is said to be filled with doubloons and weaponry of an ancient era.

      Should McIntosh and his team find what they are looking for, the find might not only be priceless treasure, but relics that could rewrite Australian history.


      Watch the video: 25 άλυτα μυστήρια που δεν μπορούν να εξηγηθούν Συλλογή Ελληνικοι υποτιτλοι αυτόματης μετάφρασης