Subject: Black Witch
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
August 31, 2015 1:43 pm
6:45 am, Cheyenne,Wyoming. Approximate size inches.
Signature: Wayne Barton
Congratulations on this extreme northern sighting of a male Black Witch, a neotropical species found in Central and South America. As far back as the late Nineteenth Century, sightings of Black Witch Moths as far north as Canada have been reported. According to BugGuide: “The northward June migration out of Mexico coincides with Mexico’s rainy season which typically starts in early June and lasts through October” and “Often flies great distances in only a few nights, hiding by day wherever it can find dense shade – frequently under the eves of houses.” While sightings in border states including California and Texas, and southern states like Florida are not rare, northern sightings are not as common. Black Witch Moths are now thought to be breeding in some border states, but harsh winters in the north will most likely prevent naturalization. We followed a link from BugGuide to the Texas Entomology site where Mike Quinn is keeping records of state, and though there were three Black Witch sightings in 2004, there is nothing recent. We would suggest that you contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org to report your sighting, though we are going to pass on the information, but should he require additional information, we would not be able to provide anything. We can’t help but to wonder why Black Witches continue to migrate north though they would not stand much of a chance of passing on genetic material, because even if they were lucky enough to find a mate in Colorado or Canada, the harsh conditions would not favor the survival of the progeny.