Hundreds of millions of years ago, giant insects (including a 28-inch dragonfly) once roamed the planet. Why have insects become so small since then? The main reason for this is the limited size of the insect duct. When the oxygen content of the air is high, as it was millions of years ago, insects can grow to staggering sizes. But if the oxygen in the air is more limited as it is today, then the bottleneck in the air tube becomes the limiting factor.
It is perhaps a good thing that insects have become so small, because even the sight of one person can make people shiver down their spines. But there are still a few species in the world that can almost reach the size of insects from the past. Most of them live in remote rainforests, which people rarely encounter. There are several ways to measure size: body and leg length, weight, volume, wingspan, and even the size of the horns. Despite the element of subjectivity in any rating, this list will take into account all potential factors.
# 10 Insect From Greek Myths – Hercules Beetle
Named after the famous hero of Greek mythology, this huge species of rhinoceros beetle comes from the rainforests of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The most notable feature is the huge horn that extends from the chest (as well as the second horn coming out of the head) of the male. The female is completely devoid of this unique outfit.
As a result, the male Hercules beetle can reach 7 inches in length (depending on its nutritional value and some environmental conditions), but the horn is almost half of its entire body length and therefore it is difficult to make direct comparisons with other types. insects. The beetle larval stage, which lasts about two years and includes three different stages of metamorphosis, can also grow to nearly 5 inches in length.
Read more about the giant beetle Hercules here.
# 9 Amazon Native – Titan Beetle.
The titanium beetle up to 6.5 inches long is endemic to the Amazon rainforest. Although technically smaller than the Hercules beetle, it actually has a much larger body as it lacks any horn at all. When threatened, the beetle will emit a hissing sound and try to defend itself. The large jaws and strong jaw give it a powerful biting force that can pierce human skin and even break a pencil in half.
The larva of this beetle has never been observed by scientists, but it has been calculated based on the size of the holes in the trees that the larvae can grow to an astonishing foot in length. The larva is believed to store tremendous energy, so an adult does not need to feed it. The Titan is so large that its wings cannot be lifted off the ground. It must be launched from a tree in order to fly.
Read more about beetles in general here.
# 8 Giant 3000 species – stick insects
Stick insects (also known by many other names, including walking sticks, leaf insects, and ghost insects) are a vast order of insects of more than 3,000 species, nearly all of which have a thin, flat, tubular appearance. … They have developed the ability to hide from predators by merging with the very branches and leaves they look like. Some even have lichen or moss to make the camouflage look more convincing.
Most species of stick insects are at least 30 cm long. The longest of all stick insects (and insects in general) is a species called Phryganistria chinensis. First discovered in China in 2016, it can reach 25 inches in length, which is the size of that ancient dragonfly. The next two largest stick insect species are about 22 inches in size. However, despite their impressive length, this insect’s flat, tubular body means they only weigh a fraction of what you’d expect.
Read more about spindle insects here.
# 7 African Giant – Goliath Beetles
The goliath beetle is a genus of five currently recognized species found in the African rainforest. The most notable physical characteristics are striking and unusual patterns and markings on the back. Although these beetles are only 3 to 4.5 inches long, they easily make up for this with their impressive bulk. An adult beetle weighs over 2 ounces, which is quite heavy for an insect. But it actually pales in comparison to the larval stage, which weighs 3.5 ounces and reaches nearly 10 inches in length, making it one of the largest insects on the planet by almost every measure. However, little information is actually known about the behavior of wild larvae.
# 6 Largest wingspan – butterflies
Butterflies belong to this list because of their huge wingspan. Although there are many impressive species, the satin moth, which is native to the rainforests and shrubs of Asia, is probably the largest of its kind. It has a wingspan of up to 11 inches and a wing area of about 25 square inches. Only the White Witch, Attacus Caesar, and the Hercules Butterfly have come close to eclipsing it, although given their different wing shapes, it is difficult to make a direct comparison between the two. Curiously, the satin butterfly’s body is disproportionately small compared to its orange and white wings, which almost look like sparkling swirling jewels.
Read more about the fascinating world of butterflies here.
# 5 Biggest Flightless Cricket – Giant Weta
Veta, which means “the god of ugly things” in the indigenous Maori language, is completely endemic to New Zealand and the surrounding coastal islands. These large, flightless crickets grow up to 4 inches in length and weigh about 2.5 ounces. There are 11 known species of giant veta that live in trees and bushes, but descend to the ground to mate. When threatened, the Vets can defend themselves with their sharp, barbed legs.
Since before the arrival of humans in New Zealand, there were almost no species of mammals, scientists believe that in the process of evolution, Wetas occupied the same niche as rodents; hence, their size is similar to that of rodents. But the appearance on the island of real rodents with each new wave of colonization had a devastating effect on the number of Veta. Some population groups are now under government protection and have recovered slightly, but they still face many challenges.
# 4 The most beautiful insects – butterflies
There are many examples of massive butterflies, including the Jamaican dovetail, Miranad’s bird wing, and Rippon’s bird wing, but Queen Alexandra’s bird wing stands above the rest. Named after Queen Alexandra, who at the time was the wife of the British King Edward VII. This inhabitant of New Guinea is the largest butterfly species in the world. It exhibits a strong degree of sexual dimorphism, which means that the sexes are radically different in appearance. Females are the larger of the two sexes with a body size of up to 3 inches and a wingspan of 11 inches; they also have brown wings with white markings arranged in two rows near the tips. Males have thinner and angular wings, measuring 6 to 8 inches from tip to tip, with black central stripes and iridescent bluish-green outer areas.
Read more about butterflies here.
# 3 Colorful Grasshopper – Tropidacris Grasshoppers
Tropidacris is a genus of grasshoppers, made up of three different species. This genus does not have a standard name, so it simply carries the scientific name Tropidacris. Found in Central and South America, these grasshoppers are among the largest of their kind, reaching 5 inches in body. While nymphs sometimes exhibit black and yellow warning coloration, perhaps to scare off predators, adults are greener, yellow, and brown to help provide camouflage against surrounding vegetation. Their shiny multi-colored wings, measuring about 9 inches from tip to tip, resemble leaves. Otherwise, they look like oversized grasshoppers.
You can read more about grasshoppers here.
# 2 Wasp That Eats Tarantulas – Tarantula Hawks
The tarantula hawk is a group of several species of arachnid wasps. Their names are derived from their tendency to eat tarantulas, which can be quite a terrible process. The wasp will immobilize the spider with its sting, and then return the unfortunate creature to the nest. The newly hatched larva will eat the whole tarantula. Upon reaching adulthood, the largest tarantula species are 2.7 inches long and have a wingspan of 4.5 inches. For an unfortunate person, an adult wasp can inflict a painful bite. But unless it causes an allergic reaction, the bite does not require serious medical attention.
Read more about wasps here.
# 1 Mimic Fly – Mydas Flies
Mydas is a large family of flies with about 500 individual species. Most of them are endemic to arid or semi-arid regions around the world. As a primary defense, some species have developed the ability to mimic the more dangerous stinging wasps and bees. This is done so that predators avoid them. The largest species of all mydas, which is simply known by the scientific name Gauromydas heros, is up to 2.8 inches long with a wingspan of 3.9 inches, making it the largest fly on the planet.
Read more about flies here.
This was our list of the 10 largest insects! Next: Top 10 Birds of Prey