By Alicia Alexander, IPM Intern
The black witch moth is one of the largest moths in the United States. With a wingspan up to 7 inches, this moth is often confused with a bat at first glance. The black witch moth is dark brown in color with iridescent pink and purple. The females usually have a distinct white bar across their wings. As larvae, the caterpillars are black/gray with green markings and stripes. They get up to 8cm in length. Adults are nocturnal and feed at night on overripe fruits and the larva consumes plant leaves.
Because of the black witch moth’s noticeable characteristics and wide range, they have many different superstitions that follow them. Anywhere from being the butterfly of death in Mexico to being good luck Bahamas.
The black witch moth doesn’t bite, sting, or carry any known diseases. The larva isn’t an agricultural pest and prefers woody legumes.