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Monday, 1 May, 2000, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Excitement over 'Hannibal Lecter' moth
The Death Head's Moth
The Death Head's Moth is normally found in southern Africa
A rare Death's Head Hawk Moth - like the one featured in Silence Of The Lambs - has been found on an industrial estate in south Wales.

The four-inch moth is the largest ever seen in Britain.

It is believed to have travelled more than more than a 1,000 from its usual home in southern Europe and northern Africa.

Wildlife experts were delighted to discover the moth at the Queensway Meadows Industrial Estate in Newport, Gwent - the first time in 16 years it has been seen in the county.

Silence of the Lambs poster
It was famously used in the Silence of the Lambs film

The moth is best know for featuring in the Oscar-winning film Silence of the Lambs when Hannibal Lecter, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, left it in the mouth of a victim.

Community Action for Wildlife in Newport say it is only the 12th time since records began in 1875 that one has been seen.

Kevin Dup, Project Officer at CAWN, said: "The Death's Head Hawk Moth is the largest moth ever seen in this country. It's four inches long.

"This one is a female, so hopefully it might lay some eggs.

"The moths migrate from Southern Europe and North Africa."

He was alerted to the moth in Newport seen by wildlife enthusiasts at Cogent Defence Systems on the Queensway Meadows Industrial Estate.

The moth is now in safe captivity - but enthusiasts can contact the Gwent Wildlife Trust to see it.

See also:

21 Apr 00 | Wales
23 Jul 98 | Americas
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