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Black Witch / Bruxa

Ascalapha odorata

Description:

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Lepidoptera: Bombycina : Noctuoidea: Erebidae: Erebinae: Thermesiini

Sex:
Foto 1 / Photo 1: ♀
Foto 2 / Photo 2: ♂

Envergadura alar ♀ / Wingspan ♀: ≥ 17cm.
Envergadura alar ♂ / Wingspan ♂: ~ 9cm-16cm.

Hora e Data / Hour and Date:
Foto 1 / Photo 1: 12 de Fevereiro, 2018 às 21:57:58. / 12th of February, 2018 at 09:57:58pm.
Foto 2 / Photo 2: 24 de Fevereiro, 2018 às 22:08:52. / 24th of February, 2018 at 10:08:52pm.

Habitat:

Habitam florestas tropicais e subtropicais que possuem muitas árvores Fabaceae (Leguminosae). Também podem ser encontradas em habitat urbano e suburbano, onde sofrem preconceito dado o folclore e influências culturais, sendo mortas pela ignorância. São de hábitos noturnos. Podem migrar grandes distâncias, até mesmo sobre águas abertas.

They inhabit tropical and subtropical forests where there are plenty of Fabaceae (Leguminosae) trees. They are also found in urbanized and suburbanized habitats, where they often suffer bias due to folklore and cultural influences, being often ignorantly killed. They are nocturnal in habit, They can migrate great distances, even over open water.

Notes:

Ascalapha odorata é uma mariposa da ordem Lepidoptera, superfamília Noctuoidea, família Erebidae, subfamília Erebinae e tribo Thermesiini.

Dimorfismo sexual é evidente neste espécie; as fêmeas possuem uma linha branca percorrendo as asas. O lado superior das asas anteriores possuem uma mancha em formato de 9 de coloração azul-esverdeada, de certa forma iridescente e destacada por tons de laranja ou amarelo. O lado superior das asas posteriores possuem duas marcações que remetem à um formato de lua (mas diferentes) e são coloridas em roxo, rosa, tons de azul e creme. Os machos possuem uma envergadura alar de cerca de 9cm-16cm, enquanto as fêmeas podem atingir mais que 17cm de envergadura alar. Os adultos descansam com as asas abertas, estas que são pontudas. As fêmeas são mais contrastadas do que os machos. As larvas medem cerca de 7cm de comprimento (com registros destacando indivíduos com aproximadamente 9cm), são marrons ou negras com três marcas pálidas e irregulares e duas linhas escuras e paralelas percorrendo as costas. Servem de alimento para muitos pássaros na cadeia alimentar.

São encontradas através da América Central e no México, com a distribuição extendendo-se do Brasil ao Sul dos Estados unidos. Após migrar, a espécie pode ser encontrada do Téxas à Flórida e nas ilhas do Havaí, mas não são nativas lá.

Os adultos se alimentam de frutas maduras e frutas em fermentação, especialmente bananas. As plantas hospedeiras das larvas incluem Gymnocladus dioicus, Senna alata, Acacia sp., Ebenopsis, Albizia sp., Cassia sp., Prosopis sp., Robinia sp., Samanea sp., Pithecellobium sp., Uncaria sp., Acacia sp., Diospyros sp., Mangifera indica, Anadenanthera peregrina, Inga sp., Mora oleifera, Ficus carica...; estas incluem muitas árvores Fabaceae (Leguminosae) e mais plantas hospedeiras podem existir. Acacia dealbata é uma das famosas plantas hospedeiras da Ascalapha odorata.

Ascalapha odorata acasalam o ano todo com gerações sobrepostas. A expectativa de vida dos adultos é especulada em cerca de 3 ou 4 semanas. Quando as fêmeas engravidam, iniciam a busca por plantas hospedeiras para depositarem os ovos, que são de coloração escura. Após a eclosão as lagartas irão se alimentar da planta onde foram depositados os ovos. A pupa é lisa e de coloração escura, medindo cerca de 4cm de comprimento.

Fontes:

http://texasento.net/witch_pix.htm

http://www.agencia.cnptia.embrapa.br/Age...

https://www.researchgate.net/publication...

http://faunaefloradorn.blogspot.com/2012...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascalapha_...

https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascalapha_...

http://biodiversitygenomics.net/site/wp-...

ENGLISH VERSION HERE:

Ascalapha odorata is a moth in the order Lepidoptera, superfamily Noctuoidea, family Erebidae, subfamily Erebinae and tribe Thermesiini.

The sexual dimorphism is pretty clear in this species; females possess a white stripe crossing the wings. The upperside of the forewings possess a blueish-green 9-shaped spot, somewhat iridescent and highlighted by shades of orange or yellow. The upperside of the hindwings possess two markings that are reminiscent of a moon shape (yet different) and are colored purple, pink, shades of blue and cream. The males possess a wingspan of around 9-16cm, while the females can reach more than 17cm in wingspan. Adults rest with wings open, these being pointy. Females are more contrasted than males. The larvae measure around 7cm in length (with registers displaying individuals with approximately 9cm), brown to black with three irregularly shaped pale splotches and two parallel dark lines running down their backs. They serve as food to many birds in the food chain.

They are found throughout Central America and Mexico, with its distribution extending from Brazil to the southern United States. After migration, the species can be found from Texas to Florida as well as the Hawaii islands, although not native there.

Adults feed on overripe rainforest food and fermenting fruit, especially banana. The larvae's host plants include Gymnocladus dioicus, Senna alata, Acacia sp., Ebenopsis, Albizia sp., Cassia sp., Prosopis sp., Robinia sp., Samanea sp., Pithecellobium sp., Uncaria sp., Acacia sp., Diospyros sp., Mangifera indica, Anadenanthera peregrina, Inga sp., Mora oleifera, Ficus carica...; these include many Fabaceae (Leguminosae) trees and more host plants may exist. Acacia dealbata is one of Ascalapha odorata's famous hosts.

Ascalapha odorata breeds year round in overlapping generations. The lifespan of adults is speculated to lie somewhere around three to four weeks. Once the females are impregnated, they begin to search for the host plants to lay the eggs, which are dark in color. After eclosing the caterpillars will feed on the plants they were laid on. The pupa is smooth and dark-colored, measuring around 4cm in length.

Sources:

http://texasento.net/witch_pix.htm

http://www.agencia.cnptia.embrapa.br/Age...

https://www.researchgate.net/publication...

http://faunaefloradorn.blogspot.com/2012...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascalapha_...

https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascalapha_...

http://biodiversitygenomics.net/site/wp-...

No species ID suggestions

3 Comments

Oscar Neto
Oscar Neto 10 months ago

Thank you both, just now seen this! Tomorrow I will post a Hesperiid 😊

Beautiful find Oscar,congrats on the well deserved SOTD and thanks for sharing

DanielePralong
DanielePralong a year ago

Congratulations Oscar, your Black Witch is our Spotting of the Day:

"Mottled brown with intricate fine line patterns and touches of iridescence, this beautiful Black Witch (Ascalapha odorata) is our Spotting of the Day! This large erebid moth is found from Brazil to the southern United States. This moth is fascinating for its cultural as well as natural history. Known in Spanish as "mariposa de la muerte" (butterfly of death) amongst others names, it is associated with disease, death or bad luck in several cultures. These superstitions cause this moth to be unnecessarily killed, while it is harmless and serves as food to other organisms such as bats and birds".

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Fortaleza, CE, Brazil

Lat: -3.75, Long: -38.51

Spotted on Feb 12, 2018
Submitted on Apr 15, 2018

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