Monday, August 11, 2014

Black Witch Moth - Laura Gillis

Black Witch Moth
Page 31 in my "Beetles, Bugs and Insects" Journal
Ink & watercolor in a Moleskine Watercolor Journal

I don’t really know why this is called the Black Witch because it’s not black at all.... it’s dark brown with some black details. It’s also got iridescent blue and pink there too. The lighter line that goes across the wings marks the female of the species. 

If you Google the Black Witch you will find all kinds of crazy stuff... In the Caribbean and Mexico it is believed that if the Black Witch flies into your house someone is going to get sick and die. (So glad I don't live there!) Another story is if the Black Witch sits above your door, you will have a winning lotto ticket. (Won't hold my breath on that happening!)

This is a huge moth with a wing span of 5.25 inches. It is mostly tropical but wanders far north, sometimes reaching Canada. (This one made it to North Central Texas.) 

Large numbers of the Black Witch have been known to travel in the eyes of hurricanes. Then, when the hurricane hits the shore, the moths fall out. To have survived this, the moths would have had to been flying continuously for several days! Amazing.


  1. This is beautiful, Laura! And isn't it funny how oddly things are named sometimes? Like the red-spotted purple butterfly...I'll grant the red spots, but PURPLE??

    1. I do wonder what people are looking at sometimes. I guess that is another argument for using the scientific names - but it's not near as much fun!

  2. Nice painting! Black Witch Moth is very interesting :-)


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