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Ten years on, the same punch line

October 3, 2022

It was ten years ago that I wrote my first story for Focus on Fauna. It was about a Longhorn Beetle larva I found whilst chopping wood. I was reminded of this when I overturned a pine round recently and found a nursery of Scarab Beetle grubs buried underneath (see photo left). As a kid in both cases I would have called these insect finds Witchetty Grubs after the mythical (at the time) bush food I had heard about at school.

True witchetty grubs are in fact the caterpillars of the Cossid Moth (Endoxyla leucomochla) found in the Northern Territory that eats the roots of the Witchetty Bush (Acacia kempeana). To be fair the term witchetty grub is often used for any such grubs if they are used for food. Australia-wide there are close to a hundred named Cossid Moths. Most of them have caterpillars that are wood borers.

Last week whilst tidying up the woodpile I came across a striking pink caterpillar, pictured right – you guessed it, a Cossid moth caterpillar. Though not a true Witchetty Grub it is a close cousin.

Still tastes like chicken though.

So they say.

Ten years on, the same punch line.

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