Brian's Notebook

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An unexpected visitor
This magnificent fellow with the red, glowing eyes and ominous skull design on its thorax fluttered into the kitchen last night. I caught it before the cat did, and put it down on a piece of paper where it politely sat still for a few photos, and remained still even when I put down a matchbox beside it for comparison. I then took it outside where it flew off into the night.

Another view of the moth. Unfortunately the bright white paper caused the critter itself to be a bit underexposed, but it was very darkly coloured, so the photo is not too inaccurate a representation.

Update: I have since managed to identify it; as I thought, it is a species of Death's Head hawk moth, more specifically, Acherontia atropos:

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Info on the Moth


Sounds like you found yourself one of these little guys, although I didn't know they ranged that far south:'s-head_Hawkmoth

I've heard of them, but I don't think I ever saw one (although the only place I WOULD see one is in a natural history myseum).


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