The team at Highdown Gardens got quite the surprise when they found this snappy chappy in the undergrowth….
The male stag beetle was spotted by head gardener Jo as she went on her rounds at the Worthing Borough Council attraction atop the South Downs.
Although once common in southern England, the numbers of insects have declined in recent years and it is now on the endangered list.
The exotic creature will have spent about six or seven years underground, growing from a larva by feeding on rotten wood.
Now hatched, it will spend the next few weeks looking for a partner before his short life cycle ends at the end of the summer.