Heatwave Brings Death's-Head Moth to Britain

Moths are the ghosts of the insect world. It may be the manner in which they flutter in unheralded out of the night that terrifies us. They seem to tap against our lighted windows as though the outer darkness had a message for us. And their persistence helps to terrify. But they are most terrifying of all if one suddenly sees their eyes blazing crimson as they catch the light. --Robert Lynd

As if to prove global warming isn't all bad, the United Kingdom is getting a glimpse of gorgeous--and sometimes scary--insects rarely seen there:

Heatwave attracts flight of colourful tourists from Continent - Nature, Environment - The Independent:

"The death's-head hawkmoth, Europe's most infamous insect, which bears the likeness of a skull upon its back, has turned up in England as part of the biggest influx of continental moths for many years. Several specimens have been spotted along the south coast.

Last weekend's extraordinary hot, caused by a mass of warm air surging up from southern Europe, brought with it hundreds of moths of numerous rare species from France, Spain and even the Mediterranean."

Thanks to D'Arcy for the news tip. 


  1. I read about this moth in a Poe short story I believe... here in Mexico we have the death-mask cockroach. Not as famous but just as cool-looking :D

  2. This sounds like an excuse for me to re-read Poe. (And go googling for roaches.)

  3. Oh, and Leandra reminds me that the death's-head plays an important role in _Silence of the Lambs_.


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