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

Subject: Male Black Witch Moth
Location: Frisco, TX
July 19, 2015 5:21 am
I don’t remember if I sent these in before, but I thought your team would appreciate this beauty! A male (I believe) black witch moth landed in my yard one day and allowed me to measure and photograph him. If I didn’t know any better I’d think he was posing!
Signature: Rachel

Male Black Witch

Male Black Witch

Hi Rachel,
We have been receiving numerous Black Witch sighting comments, including some from Colorado.  Your image of this male is wonderful because of the use of scale.  We will feature the posting in the hope it will allow others to identify the Black Witch moths that are currently migrating north from Mexico.

Ann Levitsky, Richard Aston, Jerry Green, Kitty Heidih, Jessica M. Schemm, Mary Sheridan Page Fatzinger, Heather Duggan-Christensen, Moira LeBlanc liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a big old moth?
Location: Roatan Honduras
February 16, 2015 10:47 pm
I thought this was a bat but maybe ,,,, a very large moth? It flew around the bathroom like a bat and has a wingspan of at least six inches. This photo was taken in Roatan Honduras. Love to know!
Signature: Wondering in Roatan

Black Witch

Black Witch

Dear Wondering in Roatan,
We are speculating that you were a tourist in Honduras.  Though this head on view is not ideal for identification purposes, we are quite confident your image is that of a Black Witch,
Ascalapha odorata, a large moth that frequently enters homes in Latin America and is subject to numerous superstitions.  In Mexico the Black Witch is known as Mariposa de la Muerte.  You may read more about the Black Witch on the Texas Entomology website.

It did look like a witch moth ( what a great name!)  but we are very grateful to be able to check with the experts. Thank you so much for your help. We do have tons of fruit bat s out here too – it wasn’t very bat like but it certainly seemed like a huge moth! I like the superstition that if you find a moth in your house you will be coming into a lot of money!
We are property owners down here but don’t get here as much as we’d like.
Best,
Adrienne Larkin
La Diosa del sol

Jacob Helton, Amelia Gajary, Juliett Moth, Sue Dougherty, Alfonso Moreno, Sally Hodges, Kathleen O'Dwyer, Rox San, Jess Harris Townsend liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please Identify
Location: San Antonio, TX 78229
September 15, 2014 2:05 pm
I suspect this is a moth? I found it on my car when I left work on Sunday September 14th around 11:30pm. I live in San Antonio, Texas and I saw it in the 78229 zip code. Let me know if you need more information.
Thank you
Signature: Ray Silva

Black Witch

Black Witch

Hi Ray,
This spectacular moth is a Black Witch,
Ascalapha odorata, a species that has naturalized in the southernmost parts of the U.S., but most individuals migrate north from Mexico during the fall months.  See BugGuide for additional information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth
Location: San Fernando, CA
August 22, 2014 5:31 pm
Friend found this in his home in San Fernando, CA. It’s huge
Signature: J Lytle

Black Witch

Black Witch

Dear J Lytle,
This impressive moth is a Black Witch, and they are found in the American neotropics.  They are a common species in Mexico and each year at the end of summer, individuals fly north, some reaching as far north as Alaska.  Though they are unable to naturalize in the northern climes, larvae have been found in Southern California, though most sightings in the continental US are of migrants.  This individual is a male Black Witch.

Thanks so much for the information. I have a copy of Hogue’s Insects of the LA Basin, and the Black Witch photo didn’t look like this, but all your sources do!
Best,
Jeanie Lytle

The illustration in Hogue is a female 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