Butterflies had their chance to shine in the tattoo world during the 1990s and early 2000s, but then they became a bit too predictable. Then, when the world of tattooing was ready to write off colorful flying bugs completely, moths took over. Moth tattoos are a huge trend in the tattoo world and we can certainly see why. Unlike butterflies, moths are more versatile—transitioning seamlessly between masculine and feminine styles. They're also incredibly diverse, with dozens of moth variations for an artist to choose from.
Two of the most popular moths to replicate couldn't be more opposite and they're the Luna moth and Death's Head hawkmoth. The former is part of the Saturniidae family and can be recognized for its light green wings and white body. It has an average wingspan of 4.5 inches but some have been known to exceed 7 inches. They populate North America, from the tippy top of Greenland to the central region of Mexico. In popular culture, they've been featured frequently on album covers and in advertisements. They're also currently the only moth to be showcased on a first class United States postage stamp.
The Death's-head hawkmoth includes three species of moths, the Archerontia atropos, Acherontia styx and Archerontia lachesis. The Archerontia atropos can be found through Europe and Africa, and it's the most common moth of this group. The latter two are found in Asia. The Death's-head hawkmoths are identified through the marking on their thorax, which resembles a human skull. In popular culture, the Death's-head hawkmoth became synonymous with "The Silence of the Lambs," with the Archerontia atropos appearing as the calling card of serial killer Buffalo Bill. The moth was also featured on the film's theatrical release poster.
In honor of National Moth Week, we've gathered up 25 of our favorite moth tattoos from talented tattooers around the world. Take a look at these tattoos in the gallery below and let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section on social media.