Can you identify a grub/larva whatever for me? I live in the south east of england and found two of these horrible things in my garden, or rather my dog did. They are about 3 inches long and fat, the head end of its body about 2 inches in circumference. It is greenish brown, and the most distinctive marking is on its head, it has markings like two large eyes. It makes it look like a ‘pretty’ nursery rhyme sort of insect character. My dog found one is some bindweed undergrowth and the other on a fuchsia bush. Can you help me please. Havent had any luck from anyone else.
Thanks, Mary Thomas

Dear Mary,
It sounds like you have found some type of caterpillar, most probably a Swallowtail Butterfly or a Giant Silk Moth of some type. The eyelike markings are a defense mechanism to frighten birds, one of the greatest threats to a plump juicy caterpillar. Here in the U.S. we have several Swallowtail Caterpillars that could possibly fit your description, including the Western Tiger Swallowtail and the Spicebrush Swallowtail. It is possible that you have a European species that has a similar looking caterpillar. Here are some images of Papilio troilus, the Spicebrush Swallowtail, I downloaded.

These look like nursery rhyme characters, and are frightful to birds. Unfortunately, they do not live in England and I can’t seem to find much information on your local fauna to give you a more accurate identification.

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