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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Barrett's Armyworm: A Curious Ethnographic Problem


In May, 1904, S. A. Barrett, then a graduate student in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, personally observed and photographed Central Pomo from Yokaia rancheria collecting a larval insect food which he described as an "army worm," known as li to the Central Pomo. With allowance for somewhat inexact reporting, casual field observations of variation in larval coloration, it seems likely that Barrett's "army worm" is, in fact, the noctuid Homoncocnemis fortis.

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