Friday, July 31, 2015

Money Bats


This large moth is called a Money Bat. They are nocturnal, like most moths and because it is large, with a seven inch wingspan, and brown, it has been confused with a bat. We encountered them in Exuma one evening at dinner. The open restaurant had them flitting around all over the place. One flew into the ceiling fan and was flung in our direction, hitting the wall and laying stunned for a bit. Then it flew off. 

The one I photographed is a male. The females have a white, almost iridescent, stripe on their open wings.

I read that these moths migrate to Canada in June. Some that were tagged left Mexico and were in Maine nine days later, others were in Manitoba, shortly after that. Those big wings make them able to cover a lot of ground quickly.

These moths are native to the islands and it is said that you will come into money if one lands on you. I'm still waiting.

However, the ancient Aztecs and Mayans called the same moth the Butterfly of Death (mariposa de la muerte) and the Death Witch is its other name in Central America. It is said that if the moth enters your door, there will be a death. Two members of our party had brought the ashes of loved ones to spread on Exuma. So I prefer to think of these moths as angels, come to lead the loved ones home. 

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