Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Migrant

Local Status: Rare and local migrant/wanderer.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: Aug-Oct, (pos May-Nov).

Forewing: 52-60mm.

Foodplant: Potato, Deadly Nightshade.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded18651883188318741883
Year last recorded20142008200820141951
Number of records182129253
Number of individuals1421412131
Unique positions131823202
Unique locations141625232
Adult records141918213
Immature records40120

For the county, we have a total of 96 records from 80 sites. First recorded in 1865.


69.005 Death's-head Hawk-moth 03 larva
© Terry Box
69.005 Death's-head Hawk-moth 02
© Jill Warwick, 8 Sep 2010
69.005 Death's-head Hawk-moth 01
© Jill Warwick, 8 Sep 2010

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: An occasional immigrant, recorded from all five vice-counties (map 2 MBGBI 9).

2012 (CHF): This spectacular migrant still turns up occasionally, the most recent records being 2000 (Filey), 2005 (Easington), 2008 (Wilton and Marske) and 2010 (Ripon). There have been no reports of larvae recently. In 2008, six were found inside glass houses in Sheffield Botanic Gardens. Their origin remains a mystery!

See background to species accounts.  Index of Vernacular names - Search - Random Species