Death's Head Hawk-moth - Les Evans-Hill

The world’s scariest moth caused chaos at the cricket after invading the BBC commentary box during England’s World Twenty20 clash with the Netherlands. 

The presence of the giant Death’s Head Hawk-moth saw legendary commentator Jonathan Agnew temporarily lose his cool after the insect dropped in mid-delivery during the crunch match between England and the Netherlands in Chittagong, Bangladesh. 

Agnew, known to the cricketing world as ‘Aggers’ tweeted “massive moth preventing opening of window …. can’t let it take off …. cause mayhem.” 

But things got worse for Aggers and the Test Match Special team moments later. He tweeted “Mad in here…massive moth and then a bird flies through the window.” 

The palm-sized Death’s Head Hawk-moth carries a skull-like marking on its thorax, it can squeak when alarmed and has even appeared in a Hollywood horror blockbuster. 

A Death’s Head Hawk-moth caterpillar is left as a grisly calling card by the terrifying serial killer in the 1991 horror blockbuster The Silence of the Lambs and the promotional poster for the film bore images of the adult moth. 

The Death’s Head Hawk-moth is a rare autumn visitor to the UK but despite its scarcity, the moth’s sinister reputation has still managed to haunt our literature, art and folklore for generations. 

The moth appears as a prophecy of doom in Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native and its presence as an ill-advised love token in William Holman Hunt’s 1851 painting The Hireling Shepherd hints of impending trouble between the young couple at the centre of the picture. 

A spokesman for wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation said: “The Death’s-head Hawk-moth is a beautiful but rare visitor to the UK. Its real home is in the warmth of southern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. This insect it is a prodigious traveller and regularly migrates northwards to reach all parts of Europe.”

Traditionally seen as an omen of death, the presence of the moth proved disastrous for the England team who slipped to an embarrassing defeat against cricketing minnows the Netherlands. Aggers later tweeted: “I’m blaming the Death Moth … the death of England cricket.”