Witchetty Moth - A2 Print

Moth A2.jpg
moth and ant edited.jpg
Moth A2.jpg
moth and ant edited.jpg

Witchetty Moth - A2 Print

170.00

Endoxyla Leucomochla

Pictured here is an adult cossid moth, Endoxyla leucomochla, which is endemic to Australia. It is large and has a wingspan of about 16 centimetres, with a fine mottled grey pattern and rusty red base on its wings. It does not have feeding organs and thus can live only for a few days on nourishment from its larval phase, breeding and then dying.

The witchetty moth’s larvae are one of the most famous Aboriginal foods: the witchetty grub. Nowadays, there is a tendency to call any white grub a witchetty, but the term properly applies to wood–boring caterpillars of which there are a few varieties. These grubs are large and nutty tasting from their wood diet. Like most insects, they are extremely rich in protein and fat. They can be eaten raw but are especially delicious when roasted over a fire.

The largest of all witchetty grubs are the larvae of the giant wood moth Xyleutes boisduvali. First Australians feasted on the adult moths, which are so greasy with fat that they stain insect cabinets when pinned out by entomologists. Similarly, in the Australian Alps, where millions of Bogong moths, Agrotis infusa, congregate in rock caverns each summer, huge concourses of Aborigines came to feast upon them. White observers reported that returning Aborigines looked sleek and fat.

Whilst not commonly considered appetising in contemporary western societies, insects were very important foods to Aboriginal people and are tasty and nutritious.

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Original pen and ink drawing printed onto 310gsm Canson Aquarelle Rag using archival inks and is signed by the artist, Phoebe Duff.

All Ancient Nectar prints are limited editions of 25 and are numbered in the bottom left corner.

*Please allow 2-3 weeks delivery time for limited edition items, as they are printed to order.

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