A gruesome creature with a bite that can tear human skin was spotted on a holidaymaker's car door handle while visiting a Scottish island.

The Dark Giant Horsefly, which can grow up to 5cm long, is the largest fly in the UK and needs a meal of blood before it produces offspring.

Nicola Harrison was left stunned after spotting the beastie whiel on holiday on the Isle of Arran.

She asked the Arran Ranger Service what the fly might be after seeing the skin-crawling sight on her car in Corrie.

She said: "I think it would of dented the car if I had splatted it."

Stirling News: 11-year-old Kirsty found one sitting on her camping chair. Credit: @kjbrox111-year-old Kirsty found one sitting on her camping chair. Credit: @kjbrox1

The Arran Ranger Service said: "This is a female as her eyes are separated by a bar, and she needs to feed on blood before she can lay her eggs.

"They can give a nasty bite as their mandibles are serrated choppers which will tear and rip at your skin, ouch.

"These giant flies can reach up to 5cm long."

But that won't stop Nicola, she said: "It would take a lot to put us off coming to this beautiful island, even the midges don't put us off coming here and they are a nuisance."

Nicola, who visits the island every year from Redditch, Worcestershire, said: "Initially [I was] shocked at the size of it. It looked like a huge bee at first.

"It was sat on the door of our car. We took a picture and then tried to think of the best way to move it without harm. We used a towel to allow it to climb on, which it did. It was quite calm - maybe it had already fed.

"As we turned to place on a bush, it flew away. We then set upon finding out what it was.

"The rangers, as always, confirmed what it actually was. Quite relieved it decided not to bite. So after initial intrigue and fascination of a fly of this size, to the realisation of how nasty this encounter could have been, now feeling lucky to have seen this up so close. Nature always amazes."

Stirling News: Credit: Nicola HarrisonCredit: Nicola Harrison

Kirsty Bennett, 11, also found a Dark Giant Horsefly sitting on her camping chair.

She said: "That fly was just sitting on my camping chair, beside my tent.

"I didn't know what it was. I could just make out a large, dark shape so I crept up to it carefully so I could take the photograph.

"It was massive. I've never seen a fly that big before, ever.

"I really didn't want to get close to it but I wanted to get a good photo. I was glad when it flew away."

Kirsty visits Arran every summer with her mum, Ailsa, and they love spotting wildlife.

Ailsa said: "Who would have thought a fly would be more amazing than a pod of dolphins.

"She was very brave getting as close to that beast as she did. It must have been about 3cm long - huge."

The key info to know about the horseflies: 

Horseflies, commonly known as cleggs in Scotland, thrive in hot and rainy weather - which we've had a lot of recently.

Their bites can be painful, and can even become infected.

The British Pest Control Association puts their bites in its list of the top ten to avoid, and says soaring temperatures are one the reasons there has been a surge in reported fly bites.

Natalie Bungay, BPCA Field Officer, said: "Horse fly bites are particularly painful because their main food source is livestock, which have a limited ability to move the fly away.

“This means they can take their food without having to worry about delivering a painful bite, as the animals are generally powerless to stop them.

“This is as opposed to mosquitoes, which extract blood through a painless bite.”