Black Witch

Ascalapha odorata

The erebid moth ''Ascalapha odorata'' bears the common name Black Witch. It is considered a harbinger of death in Mexican and Caribbean folklore. In Spanish it is known as "Mariposa de la muerte" (Mexico & Costa Rica), "Pirpinto de la Yeta" (Argentina), "Tara Bruja" (Venezuela) or simply "Mariposa negra" (Colombia); in Nahuatl (Mexico) it is "Miquipapalotl" or "Tepanpapalotl" (miqui = death, black + papalotl = moth); in Quechua (Peru) it is "Taparaco"; in Mayan (Yucatán) it is "X-mahan-nah" (mahan = to borrow + nah = house); in Jamaica and the Caribbean, the moth is known as the "Duppy Bat" or "Money moth". Other names for the moth include the Papillion-devil, La Sorcière Noire, or the Mourning or Sorrow moth. In Paraguay the species is called "Ura" and the same name is applied to the larva of the human botfly (Dermatobia hominis), in a confusing relation of both species as the former being the adult of the latter.

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