What the…
Bugman, can you help
We have recently found a strange larvae in the garden (photo attached) and have no idea what beetle it might be. It was about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. We have a wood close to our garden and plenty of strange things regularly appear but never quite this big. Probably quite common but I would be very interested to know what it is. Thanks for your help Regards
Tim Cooper
ps. home is southern England

Hi Tim,
You might be surprised to find out that your unusual creature is a caterpillar, a Lobster Moth Caterpillar, Stauropus fagi. The adult moth is not very remarkable looking, but the caterpillar resembles a crustacean. It feeds on the leaves of oak trees. We generally receive images of rust colored Lobster Moth Caterpillars, and that agrees with images posted online. Perhaps the dark chocolate brown coloration is due to approaching pupation as many other caterpillars change color just before metamorphosis.

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