Evanston Now reader Susan McKenna says she found a Black Witch Moth on her front doorstep today in south Evanston.
The known range of the moth is from the southern United States to as far south as Buenos Aires in Argentina, although one reportedly was found last summer at the Whitefish Point lighthouse on the shore of Lake Superior last summer and one was seen in St. Charles, Illinois, in 2017.
Females of the species can attain a wingspan of as much as nine inches, while males are about half that size and darker in in color.
While they are believed to be a harbinger of death in Mexican folklore, they are considered to be “perfectly harmless, not an agricultural pest, and have no teeth or stingers,” although there is dispute about the agricultural pest part.
The moths’ favorite foods include overripe rainforest fruit, especially bananas