Moth size of Giant Swallowtail
Location: Seminole, Florida
July 20, 2011 10:14 AM
Saw this at about 7:30a.m. today in front yard. I thought it
was a bat at first. Seminole ,Florida 33776
No exageration – it is the size of a “Giant” – Giant Swallowtail.
Sorry the pics aren’t better.
Do you know what it is?
Have a Great Day!
Your moth is a male Black Witch. Females have light bands across the wings. The Black Witch is a species associated with more tropical climates, though their northern migrations have been recorded for more that 100 years. It is unclear why so many individuals fly north, as far as Canada, since their food plant, the acacia, does not grow in the North. In recent years, the Black Witch has been reported to breed in the southernmost U.S. We may be witnessing a range expansion due to global warming. According to BugGuide: “The northward migration out of Mexico is triggered by Mexico’s rainy season which typically starts in early June and lasts through October. Most US records are from June-August, with a considerable number of records from September-Novermber. [sic] Very few US records from December-May.”