“The nocturnal Black Witch – the largest moth in the continental United States, with a wing span of six to seven inches – has been vested with a foreboding aura of darkness and mystery. It bears common names such as Mariposa de la Muerte (Butterfly of Death) in Mexico, Duppy Bat (Lost Soul) in Jamaica, or Sorciére Noire (or Dark Sorcerer) in French-speaking Caribbean islands.
According to folklore, if the Black Witch flies into your field of view, it conveys a curse from an enemy. If it flies over your head, it will cause your hair to fall out. If it flies into your home when you are sick, you will not get well. You will die.
On a happier note, if the Black Witch appears before you after someone has died, it represents the soul of the person returning to bid you farewell. Should one alight on you, you will become rich.
Should one land above the door of your home, you will win the lottery.”
– Jay Sharp, Editor, Desert USA
Though not remotely in my range of knowledge, a bit of online searching would indicate that this monster of a moth that flew into my kitchen garden yesterday is a Black Witch Moth, locally known as a Pirpinto de la Yeta (more or less meaning “spotted butterfly of the jinx”). It was roughly 6″ across, and it hung out on the little patio for about an hour, resting here and there in various spots, then disappeared when I wasn’t paying attention. I guess, superstition-wise, I should be happy no one was sick and that it didn’t enter the house. Assuming, however, that the kitchen patio door counts, I should go play the lottery!