Death's-head Hawk-moth - Acherontia atropos
Wingspan 80 to 120 mm. The largest moth to appear in Britain, sporting a wingspan of up to 12 or 13cm, this is a striking species, though it is not native. Its English name is derived from the pattern resembling a skull on the back of its head.
Various habitats. It has the unusual habit of entering beehives in search of honey and, if handled, emits a loud squeak.
During late summer and autumn.
The large caterpillar feeds on potato and is sometimes found in potato fields during good immigration years.
Immigrants arrive from southern Europe, usually several in each year. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as a migrant.
Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = C (very scarce resident or rare migrant).
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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