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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2006, 18:37 GMT 19:37 UK
Carpenter finds 'extinct' beetle
Giant Capricorn Beetle
The beetle was found at a furniture workshop
A rare giant beetle thought to be extinct in Wales has been discovered by furniture makers in Carmarthenshire.

The Giant Capricorn Beetle was found on an oak timber at a workshop in Llanelli by carpenter Ben Perrott.

At first, he thought the 6cm long creature was a toy until it started to move.

Experts examined the bug, which has 10cm long antennae, and identified it as the rare beetle which was thought to be extinct in the UK since the 1700s.

Mr Perrott said he spotted the bug as he walked through the workshop of furniture restorers Foothold Group who make furniture out of recycled material.

"I was just walking along the workshop and something just caught my eye," said the 29-year-old.

"It was the beetle. It looked like a toy at first and I thought someone was messing about.

"So I took a closer look and it started to move."

Mr Perrott and his colleagues captured the bug before contacting an expert about their find.

"I wasn't too worried about it because it was beetle but I wouldn't have liked it if it had been a spider," he confessed.

"We slid a piece of paper under it and put it under a glass bowl."

Giant Capricorn Beetle
The antennae on the beetle has a 10cm span

Entomologist Ian Morgan told the Western Mail newspaper: "I realised it was something special as soon as I saw it.

"It is very rare and is the largest long-horned beetle in Europe.

"This type of long-horn beetle was supposed to have been extinct in the UK since 1700.

"This is the first time in centuries that it has been seen here in Wales."

He said the beetle was male and hoped more beetles will be found because the larvae takes more than two years to grow. Workers at the furniture plant have set up a tank for the beetle to live in and plan to donate its remains to the National Museum of Wales when it dies.

"I first thought it was a rubber toy or something"


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