Winner of (my) 2021 Halloween Horror Enabler award goes to this AWESOME moth-wrangler. (Runner-up awards to the unsung heroes who painted skulls onto clear fingernails and GLUED THEM TO MOTH THORACES. Seriously.)


In response to a request from Barb Taub, I am reposting this article from 2015. 

I raised the insects for the Silence of the Lambs. How that happened is sort of interesting…    

I got a phone call one day in my lab from a colleague at the USDA in Maryland, where there was an active entomology group. The first thing I heard was “How would you like to get involved in a movie?”

Being the attention hog that I am, I replied, “Tell me more.”

“Well, it’s a horror movie.”

“A horror movie? I don’t think so. They’re so shlocky.”     Jodie Foster

“Even one with Jodie Foster starring?”


“How about Anthony Hopkins?”

“Okay, sign me up. What do I have to do?”

Manduca sexta Manduca sexta

He explained to me that they needed Death’s Head Moths for the movie.

Deaths Head Moth Deaths Head Moth

I wasn’t raising these moths, and besides, they were indigenous to…

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