This past weekend, 19 adult Acherontia atropos were reported to be found in a wood stove in the Netherlands.
While I usually doubt such strange/bold reports to be true, this one included a curious description and a picture of 4 dead A. atropos covered in ashes.
The report describes odd noises coming from the stove after lighting it. After opening the stove door, multiple adult A. atropos came falling down. The founder put out the fire and brought 15 moths that were still alive outside. Four dead ones remained.
This report made me wonder if anyone else knows if A. atropos is able to overwinter in it's adult stage in such large numbers? As far as I know, they mainly (attempt to) overwinter as a pupa here in the northern region of its' range.
I know that Macroglossum stellatarum, another migratory Sphingidae, is able to hibernate in caves and such. But in literature I've never read about this phenomenon occuring with A. atropos.
So is this just a false report or do you think it might be true?