Ascalapha Odorata aka Duppy Bat

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My late night visitor, these huge creatures show up each year in late spring early summer, they become active in the late evening and night, they can startle or even scare you, though they are completely harmless, unless you count your reaction as you jump off the trail and try not to trip or fall.

I have been walking across my property at night, the flashlight illuminating my way, when something large and dark darts through the shaft of light, my initial reaction is it must be a bat, it’s the same size and general shape of a bat, as it flits through the light again, I realize that bats aren’t attracted to light, they fly around in the dark but tend to avoid light and people.

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That’s when I discovered we have a very large moth here, it’s 6-7 inches wide, fuzzy, it’s even kind of cute in an insectiod kind of way. The other evening, we discovered one right outside the front door, PB brought it inside the castle for a photo-shoot. Upon getting inside, trying to be careful with the moth, he knocked over a box next to the door, the moth flew from his hand and promptly vanished, a pretty good hat trick for a moth the size of your hand!

We eventually found it again, it had alighted on my spice rack/shelf, he (and this one was definitely a male based on the dark coloring) sat quite still while I snapped a series of pictures, and even a quick video, mainly to prove I didn’t use Photoshop to make this creature look bigger than he was. In the picture below, you can see how large this particular moth is, he is sitting on a jacket collar, the wire behind the jacket is 6 inch concrete wire, the moth is a good 7 inches.

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Once the photo-shoot was over, I carefully put him outside, it’s a good thing I’m not superstitious, apparently in some cultures this moth is considered bad luck, a harbinger of death, especially if it comes inside your home. It has some interesting nick-names, Black Witch, Duppy Bat, Money Moth (it is also thought to bring money)…. it’s true name is Ascalapha Odorata, and this is one of nicer, more pleasant insects that pass through far western Texas.

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One Response

  1. LOL there was no way way I was clicking ” click here to see full size image!” A beautiful creature none-the-less. Thanks for sharing!

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