Lihou BioBlitz What an incredible day we had at Lihou...Read More
Death's-head Hawk Moth
Successful breeding in Guernsey
5th November 2020
This is not Guernsey's first death's-head hawk moth... in fact:
So although this isn’t the first sighting or breeding, it IS the first confirmed pupation in 152 years!
These beautiful creatures get a pretty bad rep because people think the face is a skull. In fact some scientists now think it resembles a worker bee’s face and is part of the moth’s camouflage when it’s raiding honey bee hives.
What’s even cooler is that it squeaks in a way that sounds like the noises a Queen bee makes and even excretes an odour that contains the same compounds as those found in honeybees.
In a nutshell the moth disguises itself like a bee, smells like a bee, sounds like their queen to enter their home for a time while stuffing itself on their honey. Death’s Head Hawk Moth? Maybe it’s due a name change to Goldilocks!
Previous sightings include
4th October, 2013
“Rich Austin was undertaking some regular moth trapping in St. Saviour’s when amongst the catch was a stunning Death’s Head Hawkmoth… Europe’s largest… and surely one of the most impressive… moths! Apparently this was the 2nd one trapped in Guernsey this year.”
Head over to Guernsey Gulls Blogspot to read more and see all the photos:
18th October, 2019
We had an unexpected visitor at at Hirzel Court which was reported to the Records Centre. The stunning moth, affectionately named, Mothy McMothface by photographer Sue Vaudin, was in fact a Death’s Head Hawk Moth, Acherontia atropos.
The death’s-head hawk moth at Hirzel Court. Photograph © Sue Vaudin