A RARE 'alien fungus' that grows ‘tentacle-like arms’ has been spotted by wildlife enthusiasts.

Devil’s fingers fungus is an eye-catching plant that splays red tentacles and hatches from a slimy, gelatinous ‘egg’.

Although its bright colour makes it easier to spot, the fungus is now considered rare in the UK and is not often seen by the public.

Dorset Echo: Devil's finger fungus

Clive Hill, 50 from Dorset has been photographing wildlife in the area for the past four and a half years after he had to walk more following an operation.

He first spotted the octopus stinkhorn last year but decided to set out early this season after a summer of cooler weather.

“Fungi season this year is ridiculously early because we’ve had such odd weather.

“All the fungi started coming out in August when we had really bad weather and I think triggered the autumn fungus to come out early.”

Clive said he was very pleased when he managed to find the fungus in the depths of the forest, as it usually appears in late October and November.

Dorset Echo: Devil's finger fungus emerging from 'egg'

“The eggs that the fungus emerges from are about the same size as a golf ball but they really do look like an alien egg because you can see the redness popping through the jelly before it pops out, and when they do come out they’re like fingers.

“The official name is octopus stinkhorn and they really do stink, if you come on a day when it’s not particularly windy, you can smell them before you can see them.”

Dorset Echo: Julia Rosser

Julia Rosser, 66, is a fellow wildlife fanatic and has been photographing for around ten years.

“I love photographing things and sharing them, it gives you a buzz.”

Julia searched the location where Clive spotted the fungus and after a few attempts managed to see it for herself.

“It wasn't smelly when I saw it, because it was still early stages but I was hoping to find one that was smelly, just to see what it was like.”

Dorset Wildlife Trust says the devil’s finger fungus can reach up to 5cm high, with its tentacles stretching to 7cm long.

The fungus is not said to be toxic, however, its unpleasant smell usually keeps people away.