I am raising several batches of larvae this year, including 5 Death's head hawk moth Acherontia atropos.
Death's head hawk moths re the largest moth to occur in Britain with a massive wingspan of 12 to 13 cm. Although it isn't native, several immigrants are usually found each year in early autumn arriving from Southern Europe.
The moth has a liking for honey and has the unusual habit of entering beehives to satisfy this desire. It gets it's name from the 'skull like' marking on the thorax and if it is disturbed it raises it's head and front legs in a threat posture It also emits a loud squeak (like a mouse ).
The moth was made famous by the film 'The silence of the Lambs' and is seen on the movie poster. However the skull on the moth's thorax in this picture is actually a photo of a naked woman from 1951 'In Voluptas Mors' it was concieved by Salvador Dali, and shot by Philippe Halsman.
The larva is also huge! reaching a whopping 13cm before pupating.
Today's blip is my 2nd and 3rd Instar larvae, still quite small, but growing fast. You can see from this shot how the colour is developing very nicely.