COULD this be biggest bug in Doncaster?
That’s the belief of health worker Angela Butler after her son, Lee, discovered the huge beastie walking across a pile of wood in the garden at their family home in Woodlands.
Lee, aged 20, encountered the bumper beetle while he was on his own at home.
His mum and dad were away on holiday, so he kept the bug until they got home.
Angela said: “Lee was checking something in the garden at about 10pm, and when he went out he could hear something making a noise, a sort of rustling noise as if something was foraging.
“He’s interested in nature and has been in the RSPB for years, so he was intrigued. So he looked for it, caught it and looked after it. We think it was injured.
“It is the biggest beetle I’ve ever seen.”
The family have since sought expert opinion from boffins in Yorkshire.
“We’ve been in touch with the insect experts at Leeds Museum, and they think it is a beetle called ergates faber,” she said.
“They’re not indigenous to this country, and they are nocturnal, but they are from places like Turkey and Greece. I think it must have been in the pile of wood, which I think had been packing around something brought in from Turkey. I’ve been using it for fence supports.
“I think there are more beetles in there, and I think there may be eggs.
“If it had been a spider that size, I would have had the wood fumigated, but I don’t mind big beetles – I’m not scared of that sort of thing.”
Angela, aged 45, who works as a technician at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, would now like to find a zoo or similar facility that keeps insects to take the wood away in case there are more beetles hiding in there.
She hopes someone may be able to find a home for them.