Chris woke me up out of a sound sleep this morning. I wasn’t even sure he was real, and not a dream.
“Do you have any moths hanging outside?” he asked. Muzzy with sleep, I said, “Mph? Hmm?”
“Greysie brought in a great big moth,” he said.
He wasn’t kidding, either. He had thought it might be one of the Polyphemus moths that I’ve been raising – Greysie, our sweet, lovable kitty, is a voracious killer of anything with scales, fur, or feathers, and she’s brought in several of the unsuspecting polyphemus males who’ve come to court my ladies. I recognized the distinctive silhouette, though – it’s a Black Witch, Ascalapha odorata. I’m pretty sure this is a male, but since there’s not a lot of sexual dimorphism, it’s hard to tell.
It is really a massive moth. The wingspan is just under seven inches. The hinge on the cabinetmaker’s rule is at the six inch mark. These moths are more tropical than most of our local species, and although they do occasionally come through here and migrate much further north, they’re not common here.
Despite looking fairly drab from a distance, it’s really pretty close up. It’s got a lot of irridescent blues, greens, and purples blended into the overall brown-gray appearance. I couldn’t get any good closeups of its face, because it was skittish and kept taking off for flights around the room.