, known by names such as the White Witch moth
, the Birdwing Moth
, Ghost Moth
, Great Grey Witch
or Great Owlet Moth
, is a large moth
in the Noctuidae
family. It has a wingspan of up to 12 inches (31 cm), making it the Lepidopteran
with the biggest wingspan. (The Atlas moth
, however, has a greater wing area.) The White Witch is found in Mexico, Central and South America, but it appears as a stray as far north as Texas.
This species is considered endangered in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, where it reaches the southern limit of its distribution.
No confirmed rearing records are available for this species. Based on reports for sister species Thysania zenobia that feeds on Senna and Cassia, the larval host plants for the White Whitch are probably also woody Fabaceae (subfamily Caesalpinioideae). The larva illustrated by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) as Thysania agrippina is a Sphingidae, possibly Pseudosphinx tetrio or Pachylia syces.
, the Black Witch moth.