Inspired by Nige's post, I thought I would post on a specific moth today, and where better to begin than the daddy of all British moths, the Death's Head Hawkmoth (Acherontia atropos)
They are the probably the largest moth to appear in Britain, having a wingspan of 10-13 cms, and a seriously fat body (the convolvulus hawk moth can have a larger wingspan but the body is not so heavy)
Unfortunately the Death's Head only arrives very rarely in Britain (when I suppose the prevailing wind is blowing from the continent for long enough) as it is normally to be found quite far away, in North Africa. The larvae feed on potato leaves.

The moth also has some other unusual features. It can emit a loud squeak if irritated, the sound is produced by forcing air from its proboscis. It has been seen entering beehives for honey at night. It is attacked by guard bees at the entrance, but the thick furry skin and resistance to venom allow it to enter the hive. Weirdest of all - It is able to move about in hives unmolested because it mimics the scent of the bees.

And I've certainly never seen a wild one. Don't think I ever will either!!!