Death’s-Head Hawkmoth - Acherontia atroposThere are three species of Death’s-Head Hawkmoth, all of which raid the hives of honeybees for their honey. They mimic the scent of their target bee, and this prompts the members of the hive to not attack the intruder. A. atropos targets the Western Honey-Bee, and is the only species of Death’s-Head Hawkmoth in Europe. Aside from their ominous markings, these moths can “scream” when threatened. The “scream” is really a loud squeak, emitted by pushing air through the pharynx. Accompanied by flashing their contrasting colors, the unique screech is enough to scare off most predators.The Naturalist’s Library Vol. VI: Entomology - Bees and Related Species. James Duncan, compiled by Sir William Jardine, 1840.

Death’s-Head Hawkmoth - Acherontia atropos

There are three species of Death’s-Head Hawkmoth, all of which raid the hives of honeybees for their honey. They mimic the scent of their target bee, and this prompts the members of the hive to not attack the intruder. A. atropos targets the Western Honey-Bee, and is the only species of Death’s-Head Hawkmoth in Europe.

Aside from their ominous markings, these moths can “scream” when threatened. The “scream” is really a loud squeak, emitted by pushing air through the pharynx. Accompanied by flashing their contrasting colors, the unique screech is enough to scare off most predators.

The Naturalist’s Library Vol. VI: Entomology - Bees and Related Species. James Duncan, compiled by Sir William Jardine, 1840.

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