Death's-Head Hawk-Moth. That beautiful creature is the bee-tiger, or death's-head hawk-moth (Acherontia atropos), frequently seen during the month of September. Men in old times regarded her with superstitious dread. " The ill-omened insect," said they, "bearing the impress of a death's-head upon her shoulders, is a messenger of ill; wherever she alights upon the sill of a window, sorrow is coming fast; or sickness will seize upon some member of the family." Thus they spoke ; but the lover of insects now rejoices when this magnificent moth crosses his way. Her home is not, indeed, within yonder glittering oak ball, though well it might become her; she rather prefers to hide beneath the leaves of creeping plants, or underground, by which means she is protected from the piercing rays of the sun, and the attacks of unfriendly ichneumonidae.

Death s Head Hawk Moth 330