Monday, March 11, 2013

White Witch

Thysania agrippina
Thysania agrippina is a moth that goes by many different names-- "White Witch" is just one of them. Ghost Moth, Great Grey Witch, and Birdwing Moth are all common titles given to this moth species.

This particular Moth is one of the largest such insects in the entire world. They have wingspans that can reach 12in, which gives them the largest overall spread, though the Atlas Moth has a greater wing area. You may have noticed the relatively slim wings on the White Witch, which are speckled with white and grey.

Though the White Witch is not listed by the IUCN, it does have some local conservation designations. In parts of Brazil, for example, it is considered to be endangered. The species has a range that extends from southern Brazil all the way up to Texas, and they lay their eggs on plants within the Legume family.

Interestingly, this species was drawn several times by Maria Sibylla Merian, one of the famous Naturalists that we covered way back when!

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Central and South America
Size : Wingspan up to 12in (31cm)
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Class : Insecta -- Order : Lepidoptera
Family : Noctuidae -- Genus : Thysania -- Species : T. agrippina
Image : David Bygott

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