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Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 219–220 | Cite as

Politicians, poisons and moths: ambiguity over the icon status of the Bogong moth (Agrotis infusa) (Noctuidae) in Australia

  • T. R. NewEmail author
Editorial Notes
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The federal Parliamentary Library of Australia recently took the unusual step of publishing an advisory briefing paper on moths (McCormick 2006). It was prompted by concerns arising from the annual ‘invasions’ of Parliament House, Canberra, by vast numbers of migrating Bogong moths, Agrotis infusa (Noctuidae). A. infusa is perhaps the only native insect in Australia to have been accorded notoriety in this way, and is one of very few of our well over 20,000 species of moths to intrude on the consciousness of many politicians—notwithstanding the vast economic impacts of other noctuids such as Helicoverpa spp. as crop pests. The paper is a valuable step toward increasing popular and political understanding of the complex migratory biology of this icon species.

The long distance migratory flights of A. infusa are an ecological phenomenon paralleling those of Danaus plexippusin the New World. Bogong moths breed in the lowland areas of eastern Australia, and non-reproductive adults migrate...

Notes

Acknowledgment

I very much appreciate comments from Prof. Roger Dennis and Prof. Michael Samways on a draft of this editorial.

References

  1. Common IFB (1954) A study of the ecology of the adult Bogong moth, Agrotis infusa (Boisd.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) with special reference to its behaviour during migration and aestivation. Aust J Zool 2:223–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Flood J (1980) The moth hunters: Aboriginal prehistory of the Australian Alps. Melbourne University Press, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  3. Green K (2006) The return migration of Bogong moths, Agrotis infusa (Boisduval) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) from the Snowy Mountains, New South Wales. Aust Entomol 33:27–30Google Scholar
  4. Green K, Broome L, Heinze D, Johnston S (2001) Long distance transport of arsenic by migrating Bogong moths from agricultural lowlands to mountain ecosystems. Vict Nat 118:112–116Google Scholar
  5. McCormick, B (2006) Bogong moths and Parliament House. Research Brief. Information analysis and advice for the Parliament. Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliament of Australia, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  6. New TR (2004) Moths (Insecta: Lepidoptera) and conservation: background and perspective. J Insect Conserv 8:79–94Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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