In case there is anyone else out there as clueless as myself, it's called a death's-head hawk-moth.
The death's-head hawk-moth is a rare species whose primary habitat is southern Europe and Asia. Many feel its arrival is the harbinger of bad news or even death. Eep!
I was made aware of them after seeing this tweet by Tristan Reid. I loved the look of the caterpillar and that ridiculous head. I assumed the caterpillar earned the name because it used its spiky bulbous head for combat or something. Ha! So, I had to research 'cause I can't just stay stupid.
RT @Strange_Animals: Death’s head moth caterpillars. pic.twitter.com/MWNFhe9Iqd
— Tristan Reid (@inkednaturalist) January 29, 2014
Apparently the photographer of the above tweet is Igor Siwanowicz.
Here is an image of the adult moth. Wow!
Cause I'm an English teacher:
"Butterfly Conservation." Meet The Death's-head Hawk-moth. Butterfly Conservation: Company, 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.
"Death's-head Hawkmoth." Wikipedia.com. Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Dec. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.