|scientific name Ascalapha odorata |
common name Black Witch
Wooded areas, including urban areas.
Alberta records are for late July and August.
A huge (11-15 cm wingspan) moth with broad dark black-brown pointed wings with purple highlights. The reniform is comma-shaped, with a light blue center. The lower edge of the hindwings has a large black-rimed circle containing two dark spots. Unlike any other Alberta moth; on the wing it looks more like a bat than a moth.
The Black Witch is a common tropical moth that strays north on occasion to southern Canada, including Alberta. Their larval food plants do not occur north of the tropics, and any that stray this far north are doomed. They are nocturnal and come to sugar bait.
A rare stray from the tropics; no concern.
The larval hosts are tropical legumes in the genera Pithecellobium and Cassia.
As a breeding resident, tropical South America north to Florida and the Gulf States. A rare stray north to southern Canada. Recorded in Alberta north to Edmonton.
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