Black Witch – Something You Don’t See Every Day

Late last month I received word of a Black Witch sighting in Keya Paha County. On June 20 Teresa Bammerlin discovered an unexpected visitor at her residence which she found to be a Black Witch (Ascalapha odorata). This large moth is a breeding resident in the southern United States and from there southward to as far as Argentina. In Nebraska it is a curiosity as an extremely large stray, rivaling silkworm moths in size. It shows up in Nebraska on an irregular basis, being unreported most years. In it’s home range larvae feed on mostly on various legumes, including Acacia, Kentucky Coffetree and Mesquite. In some cultures this moth is associated with various folklores, most involving ill health or death. Teresa’s find was in amazingly good shape considering the distance it had traveled. Thanks to Teresa and Jen Corman for relaying the information and moth to me.

Black Witch – photo by Teresa Bammerlin

Thanks again to Teresa for sharing her amazing find. For any information on Nebraska Lepidoptera or to send news and/or pics of any butterflies and moths you find interesting contact

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