WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST INSECT?



In order to answer the question of  '...what is the world's largest insect..?' you must first decide how you are going to measure it. Most people would consider the largest insect to be the bulkiest and in this case the champion insect is the Actaeon Beetle from South America. The male beetles can be 9cms long by 5cms wide by 4cms thick. Impressive!

However, if you choose to measure largest by overall size, consider the South American Longhorn Beetle (Titanus giganteus) these huge 'mini-beasts'  can be over 16cms in body length (not including antennae).

There is one other beetle, Dynastes hercules,  that also needs to be considered as it is also well known for reaching 16cms in length -  although it is not nearly as heavy.

If you are looking at overall length, the longest insect in the world is the Stick-Insect known as Phobaeticus Chani - meaning 'Chan's megastick'. This insect is more than half a metre with legs outstretched – 55.6cm between the tips of its long spindly legs.

Unfortunately, no living examples of the creature have ever been seen but they are thought to live in the tops of giant rain forest trees on the island of Borneo.

Surprisingly, scientists have only recently 'twigged' that the stick insect, which belongs to the Natural History Museum in London, is a new species.

Not including its legs, Chan's Megastick measures 35.7cm, winning the insect world record for the longest body. It beats the previous title-holder, Phobaeticus kirbyi, from Borneo, by 2.9cm.

In addition to its size, its eggs may also be unique in the insect world.

Each egg capsule has wing-like extensions on either side like a miniature golden snitch, allowing them to drift in the wind when the female drops them, thereby helping the species to spread.

For related articles click onto the following links:
ATLAS BEETLE - Chalcosoma atlas
THE ORCHID MANTIS
WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST FROG?
WHAT IS THE WORLD'S LARGEST INSECT?

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