|Witch on the porch - Chris Barnhart|
|- Jill Hayes|
First, the fun part. The folklore for this species is rich throughout the tropics, a confusing mix of death threats and good fortune. In Paraguay the belief is if they touch your eyes you will go blind. Texasento.net reports some of these other examples.
In Hawaii, Black Witch mythology, though associated with death, has a happier note in that if a loved one has just died, the moth is an embodiment of the person's soul returning to say goodbye.
On Cat Island, Bahamas, they are locally known as Money Moths or Moneybats, and the legend is that if they land on you, you will come into money.
Similarly in South Texas if a Black Witch lands above your door and stays there for a while you would win the lottery!
In Mexico, people joke that if one flies over someone's head, the person will lose his hair. (I have never seen a Black Witch but this may explain my scalp.) Still another myth: seeing one means that someone has put a curse on you!How these stories developed across the Western Hemisphere with just this species no one knows. It even reached the movies in "Silence of the Lambs where serial killer Hannibal Lechter inserted cocoons of Black Witch Moths into the mouths of his victims as a weird gesture of transformation. The moth on the movie poster is a Death’s Head Hawk Moth, but the actual cocoon was that of a Black Witch."
The Black Witch moth is a nocturnal species that migrates at night. It feeds on rotting fruit and may have been drawn to the Barnhart's overripe pawpaws. For some unexplained reason they are frequently found on porches, carports and even on cars, although this may just be where these big moths are spotted by people not used to noticing the average moth. With a seven inch wing span they are the largest moth in the US.
|Black Witch caterpillar - Jan Dauphin|
|- Jill Hayes|
|Black Witch Migration 2012 - texasento.net|
Insect migration is a large topic with various definitions that depend on scale and frequency of observation. This link lists some of the known species.
Read more at Desertusa.com.