The Nymph, the Witch and the Spider!

Sounds like the start to a Grimm’s fairy tale eh. LOL

First the nymph! It is shaped like a Stink Bug (Pentatomidae) hence that is what I will go with. 😉 The little guy was about 3mm. I dropped it on the floor and it landed upside down. Soon it was released outside. The majority of the Stink Bugs family are herbivorous, but members of one subfamily (Asopinae) are predaceous on other insects. So I think the nymph came in with my bat detector that I forgot to bring in last night. And yes I did get one bat before the battery went dead.

This caught me by surprise, a Black Witch (Ascalapha odorata). At first I thought bird feathers. But what and how did it get smashed there. The aforementioned thought was only a nanosecond before it dawned on me that it was a moth. I have never seen one here in North Texas.

Gosh she was so beautiful even in her ragged state.
Slowly I inched closer to get more details.

Back spots!

Learning that the Black Witch could reach up to seven inches I decided to measure her. Well with Jim’s help I went back this afternoon for a measurement. She wasn’t going to have it anymore of my pestering. And quickly flew before I could get the ruler in a good position. But wait!

She did not fly far. This time I did not get as close but estimated she was about 5.5 inches. Go girl!

And finally the spider, a Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans)! She was dead which meant I could safely get my photos. 🙂

Beautiful abdomen!
On the underside she had the classic hour glass mark.

The eyes!

The rear with a bit of silk still attached to the spinneret! How cool!

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Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. I have seen the Black Witch 3 times in a whole life time. Very rare. But then as well as they camouflage on that tree, we probably have walked right by.
    Ok Mary did you see an osprey today? I might have. And as many times as we have sightings on the exact same day I wanted to check. If you had, then my chances were better that is what flew over a bit ago. Ha ha.

  2. I found a black witch roosting on our house several years ago. It startled me too – I thought someone had thrown a mud ball or shot a paintball at our house. Those gals are huge!

          1. Well, I thought I had photographed it and submitted it to iNaturalist, but I just searched and can’t find a record of it, or even the photo I thought I took. But I remember it clearly being on the brick wall next to our garage door.

  3. Suzanne, I bet it is somewhere in your photos. And further I bet someday you will be looking for a different photo and then you will find it. 😉 Memories are pretty great too.

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