In order to answer the question of '...what is the worlds largest insect..?' you first have to 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 Acteaeom Beetle from South America. The male beetles can be 9cms long by 5cms wide by 4cms thick.
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.
However, there is a new king in town after Mark Moffett - a former park ranger traveling in New Zealand - stumbled across the largest Weta Bug ever discovered.
He had this to say on his record breaking discovery:
"Three of us walked the trails of this small island for two nights scanning the vegetation for a giant weta. We spent many hours with no luck finding any at all, before we saw her up in a tree. The giant weta is the largest insect in the world, and this is the biggest one ever found, she weighs the equivalent to three mice. She enjoyed the carrot so much she seemed to ignore the fact she was resting on our hands and carried on munching away."He came across the cricket-like creature, which has a wing span of seven inches, after two days of searching on a tiny island. The giant Weta Bug is now only found on Little Barrier Island, in New Zealand as the species were wiped off the mainland by rats accidentally introduced by Europeans.
Most people would have recoiled at such a find, but Moffettt held the giant insect in the palm of his hand and even fed it a carrot.
"She would have finished the carrot very quickly, but this is an extremely endangered species and we didn't want to risk indigestion. After she had chewed a little I took this picture and we put her right back where we found her."Mark, from Colorado, America, added:
"We bug lovers hear a lot of people who think insects are inferior in some way because of their size, so it was great to see such a big insect. This became all the more amazing when we realized that this was the largest insect recorded."Click here for related articles:
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World's Largest Insect
Based on an article by http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/8930070/Worlds-biggest-insect-is-so-huge-it-eats-carrots.html