The Moths of Suffolk
1973 Death's-head Hawk-moth, Acherontia atropos, (Linnaeus, 1758)

National Status : Immigrant

Local Status : Infrequent immigrant (SMP Status 3)

Habitats : Adults may appear anywhere. Larvae and pupae may occasionally be found in potato fields where insecticides are not in use

Flight Period : late August to late October but can be from May to late November

Larval foodplants : potato, Deadly Nightshade, other members of Solanaceae

Morley's Final Catalogue : Another periodical and sometimes frequent Hawk, whose potato-feeding larvae are as often seen as imagines. Found almost annually at Stowmarket around 1856 (Nat. vii, 276); two occurred at 'Woolverstone in 1858 (Ent. Wk. Int. v, 30 ) ; one at Hollesley (Hkg) and two at Ipswich (Ager) in 1898; very plentiful at Aldeburgh in 1885 (Ent. 1886, p. 15); one at Bramfield and several about Ipswich in 1894-6 (Pyett, Platten); one at Woodbridge in 1910 (Rope); one at Needham in 1922 (Platten); one at Bradwell in 1928 (Mr). For the great influx of 1933 cf. Trans. ii, 183; it then occurred also at Copdock on 25 October, Hemley and in Beccles.

Wingspan details : Forewing 52-60mm, Wingspan 102-135mm

Identification

Confusion species : None


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Dunwich, Suffolk (viii.2005) © Neil Sherman

Flight chart
JFMAMJJASOND
100

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
imago imago larvapupa larvapupaimago larvapupaimago pupaimago no datano data

Further Photographs

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Cambridgeshire (21.ix.2003) © M Deans
Cambridgeshire (21.ix.2003) © M Deans
Cambridgeshire (21.ix.2003) © L Gregory
 
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Close up of head - Dunwich, Suffolk (viii.2005) © Neil Sherman
Trapped by Clive Ireland - Westleton, Suffolk (12.ix.2015) © Neil Sherman
Trapped by Clive Ireland - Westleton, Suffolk (12.ix.2015) © Neil Sherman