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Aussies baffled by strange googly-eyed creature a Sydney woman found in her garden: ‘Cutest thing ever’


A homeowner was left puzzled by a bizarre creature that appeared in her backyard but Aussies quickly labelled it ‘the cutest thing ever’ when pictures were posted on social media. 

The woman spotted the brown slug-like insect curled up against a hedge in the garden of her home in Sydney‘s inner west. 

The strange critter, shaped like a tiny caterpillar, had pink-and-black eyes that made it look like a cartoon character. 

The homeowner took several photos of the insect and uploaded it to Facebook in a bid to find answers. 

‘Does anyone know what this strange little creature is?’ the woman asked.   

A homeowner was left puzzled after she found a bizarre creature (picture) that looked like a cartoon character in the backyard of her home

A homeowner was left puzzled after she found a bizarre creature (picture) that looked like a cartoon character in the backyard of her home

Several users commented on the post as they tried to guess what the creature could be. 

‘Some type of hawkmoth caterpillar,’ one user said. 

Others thought it was a fake object that had hastily been put together by the homeowner. 

‘I seriously thought you stuck googly eyes on a weirdly shaped stocking,’ another user wrote. 

Some who didn’t know what the insect was nevertheless chimed in by saying it looked adorable. 

‘That is the cutest thing I have ever seen.’

Andrew Mitchell, an entomologist at the Australian Museum, said the creature is the larval form of the Pale Brown Hawkmoth and goes by the botanical name Theretra latreillii.

‘It is most often found on vines, including grape vines, and they are quite common, especially around this time of year,’ he told Yahoo

The insect is a Pale Brown Hawkmoth (pictured) that is often found vines and branches

The insect is a Pale Brown Hawkmoth (pictured) that is often found vines and branches

‘This species has quite a wide distribution, from the Kimberley region (in Western Australia) eastwards along the coastal strip all the way to Cape York (in far north Queensland) and then south to Sydney.’

The body of the insect has a distinct brown colour which allows the creature to disguise itself against predators. 

The oddly shaped eyes are also used by the bug to protect itself from being preyed upon. 

They colourful feature is designed to startle predators, said Mr Mitchell. 

‘When threatened they puff up the front of their body, raise it into the air, suck the head in a bit, and can look quite convincingly like a snake when viewed front on,’ he said. 

Pale Brown Hawkmoths come in two colours – green and brown – with adults growing up to 70mm in length. 

The caterpillars are often found in suburban gardens and they do not bite or sting but may release green liquid if disturbed. 



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