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You’ve never seen a bug like this before

A bizarre caterpillar with a face resembling a cartoon-like skull has caused a stir online with many stunned to discover the unusual creature is actually real.

The extraordinary specimen spotted in Currumbin Valley on the Gold Coast, Queensland, is the larvae of one of Australia’s most threatened species – the endangered Pink Underwing Moth.

The rare caterpillar is characterised by a set of teeth-like markings set between two dark spots that resemble eyes with large pupils.

In an effort to deter predators the caterpillar will arch its 12cm long back to reveal a pair of frightening spots that resemble a sunken cartoon skull.

During their ‘startle display’ strategy the larvae will lunge at predators including birds and spiders to scare them away.

Once the caterpillar has grown into a moth it resembles dead brown eucalyptus leaves, with its brown forewings extending out to 6cm when at rest.