I was looking through a book of moths over the holiday and decided to make some. I found the Death’s Head Hawkmoth and remembered seeing one a few years ago outside my back door. I have never seen “Silence of the Lambs”, but I am told by the internet that the moth features in the film (I know I have to watch the film!)
After making my take of three Death Head moths, I did a bit more research and discovered that there are three species of the hawkmoth: Acherontia atropos (African death’s head), Acherontia styx (lesser death’s head) and Acherontia lachesis (greater death’s head) . It’s likely the one I saw was Acherontia atropos as it migrates to Britain annually.
It’s fascinating too that all three species love honey so they are often found in bee hives slurping up the sweet delight. They also emit a squeak or chirp when alarmed.
I suppose it makes sense that the hawkmoth should be symbolic of death. The clue being not just in their incredible markings clearly showing a skull but also in their Greek names.
Here’s what I found in Wikipedia ” Atropos was the oldest of the Three Fates, and was known as the “inflexible” or “inevitable.” It was Atropos who chose the mechanism of death and ended the life of mortals by cutting their thread with her “abhorred shears”. She worked along with her two sisters, Clotho, who spun the thread, and Lachesis who measured the length. “
So that’s Atropos and Lachesis accounted for. As for Styx, well that’s the river of death between earth and the underworld in Greek mythology but you already knew that didn’t you!
If you are interested in my moth sculptures they are for sale here on my shop
Or…If you enjoyed reading this post perhaps you would like to buy me a coffee …