Black Witch Moth (Erebus odorata)

Pricing: Dead (spread, as pictured): $40-$50 each (male or female)
Geographic Range: Southern U.S.A. to South America
View: Top View  Sex: Male (top) & Female (bottom)


Image Copyright 2003
Barbara Strnadova

Erebus odorata is a nocturnal species, emerging at dusk to feed on fermenting fruit juices. It hides during the day inside hollow trees, under over-hangs and nestled away in other shaded places. Females are larger than males, their wing apexes coming to less of a point, while the males are generally a lighter shade of brown. Common throughout the lowland and mid-elevation Neotropics, it has strayed as far north as Newfoundland (these migrants perish in the winter) and taken up residence in the Southern U.S.A. Also introduced to Hawaii. Because of its large size and dark, bat-like appearance, it is regarded by the superstitious as a harbinger of death. In Mexico it is know as the "Mariposa de la Muerte". In the Aztec tounge it is called "Mictlanpapalotl". The caterpillars feed on the legume genera Pithecellobium and CassiaErebus odorata was previously known as Ascalapha odorata.