Definition of death's-head hawk moth in US English:

death's-head hawk moth


  • A large dark European hawk moth with a skull-like marking on the thorax and a very large caterpillar.

    Acherontia atropos, family Sphingidae

    • ‘I did not know then that it was a death's head hawkmoth and that it could emit a peculiar squeak when handled!’
    • ‘The death's head hawkmoth is believed to have gained its place in folklore because the coloration pattern on the thorax bears an uncanny resemblance to a human skull.’