But the death's-head moth doesn't give a happy damn about any of that. They have thick body armor, are mostly immune to venom, and produce a scent very similar to a bee's. In addition, some researchers think that spooky skull marking is actually designed to resemble a bee -- if you squint real hard, and are as stupid as a bee.
If you are as stupid as a bee, please avoid driving or voting.
But, much like Mike Tyson, the death's-head moth loses a little of that street cred when it opens its mouth:
That's right: This skull-covered, armor-plated avatar of death ... squeaks like an adorable little dog toy when you poke at it.
Common Awl Skipper (Going as a Jack-o'-Lantern)
learn about butterflies
D'awww, wook at dat widdle guy. If we weren't such firm believers in the extinction of all insect-kind, we'd almost want to keep this tiny fella as a pet. This is the caterpillar form of the common awl skipper butterfly, a native of Southeast Asia. Its perfect little smiling jack-o'-lantern of a face might be unnerving on, say, a giant spider or some sort of parasitic devil-wasp, but slapped atop that goofy, roly-poly fuzzy body?
It's like the Headless Horseman, but with the body of a furry condom.
Pure cuteness. It's even a little clumsily done, like letting a kid apply her own costume makeup on Halloween night.
But, as we've mentioned before, ladybugs are red with black spots in order to let predators know that they're poisonous. More than likely, the awl evolved its perversely adorable look in order to trick others into thinking the same thing. And if that doesn't work, the fact that they EAT POISON might. Their favorite food is Derris elliptica, a toxic plant that doubles as an insecticide, a fish-stunner, and a core ingredient in poison-tipped arrows.
So, y'know, try not to snuggle too close.
E. Reid Ross also writes over at Man Cave Daily, and both he and Monte Richard mangle comics at RealToyGun.com. Ross is also the proud father of a brand new baby Twitter account.
Related Reading: Animals may be great at dressing up, but they're decades behind us in terms of traumatizing children via costumes. Look at that almost-naked Na'avi costume and argue with us. If your Halloween goals are more along the lines of "telling everyone you suck", try this ball pit costume. Close your Hallo-reading with these extremely regrettable sexy costumes.