Ethan Switch - Wednesday, 5 November 2003
Initial sparks and a flurry of lights can lead to free and inexpensive moth-meat with the oncoming bogongs across Sydney. "Every few years there are large, conspicuous migrations of moths over urban Australia which attract the attention of city dwellers," said Dave Britton, the Australian Museum's Entomology Collections Manager. "Each spring moths are seen in Sydney as they migrate from their inland nurseries such as the western slopes and plains when these areas become too hot and dry. To survive, they migrate to cooler regions that have summer rainfall."
The flighted feast bits feature in the old diets of the Aborigines before they were largely massacred in the invading ships from the UK. Swarms of the moths were collected, roasted and mashed into what is known as "moth meat." For those slumming it on the streets this could prove to be a good source of free food in the upcoming warmer seasons.
"One of the main reasons for the moths staying around in Sydney is because people leave their lights on at night. By turning your lights off at night, not only can you save your electricity and the environment, you can send the moths on their way," advised Britton.