Black Witch (Ascalapha odorata)

With a wingspan of approximately 5 inches, the black witch is perhaps the largest moth on St. Martin. (If Rothschildia erycina is present, it is the second largest.) This specimen was seen flying in the daytime, but it quickly retreated to a shady area on a tree trunk. This species can be identified by a large spot on the forewing shaped like the number 9, although to be honest, it’s only a 9 in a pretty strange font. Individuals seen during the day could easily be mistaken for butterflies, but there is no similarly sized and colored butterfly in the area.