Currently viewing the category: "Black Witch"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: large brown moth
Location: Texas Gulf Coast
October 19, 2013 9:10 am
This moth appeared on the wall of my sun porch 2 days ago and hasn’t moved. I live in Southeast Texas on the gulf Coast. Can you please tell me what it is? Also, what does it eat and is it drawn to light like other moths?
Thank you for your help!
Signature: Brenda from Texas

Black Witch

Black Witch

Hi Brenda,
Despite being a male, this Black Witch would not be called a warlock, and it is just a bit too early for Halloween.  Black Witch moths often fly up from Mexico at the start of the rainy season there, and that roughly coincides with our autumn months.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of moth is this
Location: Virginia Beach , Va
June 14, 2013 7:07 am
What a gorgeous moth with a 5 in wing span. Literally as big as my hand . Please let me know what kind it is. Been in Virginia Beach for over 20 years and I’ve never seem one like this. Thanks!
Signature: Jennifer T

Black Witch

Black Witch

Dear Jennifer,
This is a male Black Witch, a species that has annual migrations north from Mexico each year with some individuals reaching Canada.  These migrations have been documented since the nineteenth century, but it is unclear why the migrations occur since the species cannot survive or reproduce north of the border states.  The Black Witch Moth: Its Natural and Cultural History should answer any additional questions you might have.

Thank You for the quick response!   I looked thru so many photos and they all started to look the same. What a fantastic website!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hawaiian Moth
Location: Hawaii
May 31, 2013 7:02 pm
Hello, Mr. Bugman.
My friend saw this moth on the wall on her home in Hawaii. She asked me what it was. I’m from Arizona, so it’s nothing I’ve ever seen before. She said it must have been 5-6 inches across.
Thank you very much!
Signature: Lucille

Black Witch and Lizard

Black Witch and Lizard

Dear Lucille,
Tell your friend this is a Black Witch, and a good source for information is the Texas Entomology page called The Black Witch Moth:  Its Natural & Cultural History
Your submission will go live in early June during our holiday away from the office.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black Witch Moth
Location: Honolulu Hi
May 6, 2013 3:07 pm
Hey bugman, just reporting sightings of Black Witch Moth here in Hawai’i.
Is this a male or female?
Signature: Hawai’i Kane

Black Witch

Black Witch

Dear Hawai’i Kane,
This Black Witch is a male of the species, and to the best of our knowledge, they are not called Black Warlocks.  Female Black Witches have bands on the wings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black Witch Moth
Location: southwest
August 26, 2012 4:34 pm
This lady was sitting in our office, in Hollywood. quite impressive at 6”
Signature: paul

Female Black Witch

Hi Paul,
Thanks for sending your photo of a female Black Witch.  We have read that they are now naturalized in the areas of the U.S. closest to the Mexican border, but most U.S. sightings are from migratory individuals that fly north during the Mexican rainy season and appear in September.  The migration is quite curious since they do not really survive the northern winters.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: large moth
Location: Rio Medina, Texas
July 12, 2012 11:56 am
Good Morning, saw this moth on the back deck this morning. I can’t seem to find it or the name of it.
Thanks from South Central Texas
Signature: Richard

Black Witch

Dear Richard,
This spectacular moth is a male Black Witch (see BugGuide for explanation), a species from Mexico and Central America that has been periodically reported flying north as far as Canada for no apparent reason.  More recently it has been reported to be breeding in the southernmost United States, most likely because its food plants Cassia and Acacia are commonly grown in gardens, though we suspect global warming might also be a factor.  There are many superstitions about the Black Witch and you can read about them on the Texas Entomology website, where this one is mentioned:  “ Similarly in South Texas if a Black Witch lands above your door and stays there for a while you would win the lottery!”  Let us know if you hit it big.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination