Acherontia atropos, the (African) death's-head hawkmoth, is the most widely recognized of three species within the genus Acherontia. It is most commonly identified by the vaguely skull-shaped pattern adorning the thorax, the characteristic from which its common and scientific names are derived.
Death's-head hawk moths are large, ranging from 3.5 to 5 inches as adults. The upper wings are dark, creating a stark contrast between them and the lower wings, which range from a bright yellow to a light cream, yellow being the more common.
It is commonly found in the southern part of Europe and throughout much of Africa, from where it is considered to be a native species. Annually, A. atropus migrates to parts of Britain, most numerously to the British Isles, where it is less commonly seen than in its native place of residency.