In many places butterflies represent death. In Maryland, if a white butterfly enters your house and flies around you, it foretells death. In some parts of the United States, if a moth lands on the mother of a newborn child, that child will soon die. Italian-Americans view the appearance of a moth in their home as a sign of the impending death of someone they know.
There is a moth in Europe called the Death’s Head Hawkmoth. It means death to many Europeans because of the clear outline of a skull on its back. This insect emits a strange, loud squeak, and smells like a bee, so he can go unnoticed while stealing honey out of hives.
Samoans felt if they captured a butterfly it meant they would be struck dead. In Brunswick, if the first butterfly spotted in spring is a white one, it was an omen of death. The Celts believed that seeing a butterfly flying at night meant death. The chrysalis or pupal stage symbolizes death in Christian art.