4 inch wingspan
Also known as the death’s head moth, Acherontia atropos has been made famous by the movies “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Dracula” and the novel “Death with Interruptions”. The distinct skull pattern on the back of the thorax is commonly associated with the supernatural.
This species was first described in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus and is named Atropos after one of the three Moirai, goddesses of fate and destiny. The genus Acherontia is named after the river Acheron, which is thought to be a pathway that leads to Hades.
When agitated they make a squeaking sound as a defense mechanism. They are also known to invade beehives and feed on honey with their long tongue or proboscis.