The most northerly Black Witch (Ascalapha odorata): a tropical moth in the Canadian Arctic

Torbjørn Ekrem, Peter G. Kevan, Thomas S. Woodcock, Paul D. N. Hebert


A specimen of the Black Witch (Ascalapha odorata) was collected in August 2006 near Churchill, Manitoba, at 58.7652°N. This represents the most northerly record for this species. DNA barcode comparison of 93 specimens of A. odorata in the Barcode of Life Data Systems revealed low genetic divergence even though these specimens were collected from a large geographical area. The haplotype of the Churchill specimen was shared by only one other individual (collected in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico) in the Barcode of Life Data Systems. A definite assignment of the geographic origin of the Churchill specimen is not possible with current data, but more extensive analysis of Central American populations with additional genetic markers might resolve this uncertainty.


Black Witch; Mariposa de la muerte; Ascalapha odorata; DNA barcoding; distribution; genetic divergence; migratory; migration; Manitoba

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