MAYBE it's his cheery face. Or perhaps its his likeness to a certain literary superstar - 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'.

Whatever the reason, Swanage schoolboy Monty Edwards' mobile phone snap of this creature on Purbeck has won him a prestigious photography award.

Eleven-year-old Monty won the ‘People’s Choice’ award in the Mobile Phone and Devices category of the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards, for entrants aged 18 years or younger.

The nature-loving eleven year-old, who hopes to become a wildlife ranger or photographer, had been walking in Swanage’s Durlston Country Park with his Mum when he spotted the striped insect.

“We went through a wooden gate and I looked down and saw this little striped creature," he said. "I shouted for Mum and we watched him for ages while I waited for him to look at me before taking the photo. I love his face and his eyes. It makes me happy to see him.”

The image, taken on a Sony Experia phone, was among 14 pictures of animals snapped by young people on their mobiles and nabbed Monty £100 of Wex Photo Video vouchers, a trophy and certificate.

Among the judges was the wildlife expert Chris Packham who said: " “It’s exciting to see the awards move with the times, with this year’s new mobile device category. It’s a great way of making the competition accessible to virtually everyone.”

The Mobile Phone and Devices category was launched as part of the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2017 competition to reflect the fact that many young people capture great images on their mobile phones and devices.

“It was nice to see so many photos of day-to-day animals in such a strong competition," said Chris Pakcham. "It needs real imagination to make commonplace species interesting, showing that the photographer has been really innovative."