Bogong Moth side view.
Bogong Moth (Agrotis infusa) side view.

Though Bogong Moths are known for their spectacular migration from the coast  and up into the High Country, they are much more widespread than this suggests. They occur throughout southern Australia, including in the Strathbogie Ranges region and can often be seen around lights at night during spring and summer. Their larvae are known as black cutworms and can cause damage to vegetable seedlings.

“In August and September, adult (Bogong) moths migrate south or east, sometimes over thousands of kilometers to mountaintops in the Snowy Mountains of NSW and the Victorian Alps. … In about October they reach the mountains and then move slowly up to the highest peaks where they will rest over summer in caves, cracks and crevices in the rocky summits. … They remain in the mountains until late February when they commence their journey back to their breeding grounds. … On their return to the breeding grounds, the females lay their eggs, which hatch after a week or two and the larvae develop over the winter … ready for the next migration in August or September. However, in the wetter areas of the coast and tablelands of southern Queensland, NSW and Victoria, not all moths migrate. Some will remain and breed in the Spring producing other generations that eventually lay eggs in autumn for the next winter generation.

“It is not known whether the moth populations that migrate are separate from those that remain or whether a single population can do either…” (A Guide to Australian Moths, Zborowski & Edwards, 2007, CSIRO Publishing).

I assume the Bogong Moths around here don’t migrate, but live and breed locally. However, it’d be worth keeping an eye out for congregating Bogong Moths in the rock cracks and crevices of the higher granite peaks of the Strathbogie Ranges – there may be more to discover.

Wikipedia and Museum Victoria have more information about Bogong Moths.

There are several similar species that can easily be confused with Bogong Moths, so beware.

If you’re interested in local moth diversity, you can find more info. on these pages:

A Spott of Ruffy Mothing

An Awakening Interest in Moths

Boundary Hill Forest Blog