Monday, June 5, 2017

Black witch moth

No, I didn't find this beauty (wish I had). My friend, Jim–who gave me permission to share his photo here on my blog–did. He spotted and photographed this male black witch moth (Ascalapha odorata) on his ranch east of Blanco. 

According to Texas entomologist Mike Quinn, this species "is the largest moth, if not the largest insect north of Mexico. It is very common across Texas following the start of the rainy season in Mexico each June. It is often  mistaken for a bat, which it somewhat resembles. It has a wing span up to 7 inches. The females are slightly larger and lighter than males and have a pale median band through their wings."


Megan Pincus Kajitani said...

Hi Sheryl! I'm a fellow writer and nature lover, and found your blog through one of your articles (I sent you a Facebook message using my children's author account, Meeg Pincus - I hope you received it!). I had to comment here because I live in San Diego and a few months ago my husband was coming in the back door in the evening and something flew into the house over his head which we were sure was a bat. Turned out it was a black witch moth and it was huge! And gorgeous. We set it free (after taking some photos). I'd never seen anything like it!

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Yes, I did get your message. At least, I remember your name. Did I reply back? I hope so. I always reply back to emails etc. And wow, lucky you! A male?

Megan Pincus Kajitani said...

Yes, thank you so much! I'll make sure you get a copy of the book when it's out (in 2019!). :) Can't tell from my photos whether male or female but s/he was a bit tattered and clearly had flown a long way!

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