5 of the Largest Insects in the World
A lot of insects can be household pests, but there are some species found in the wild that are truly amazing. The five bugs on this list are creatures that you would be highly unlikely to find anywhere near your home, but they are definitely interesting to know about.
1. Goliath Beetle
Goliath beetles aren’t just huge; they are some of the biggest and heaviest insects on the planet. They are typically found in tropical rainforests in Africa, and their primary source of food is tree sap or fruit. Some of these beetles can grow to over four inches long in their adult stage, though larval stages can grow up to 9.8 inches in length and weigh over three ounces.
2. Giant Weta
These bugs are like giant versions of grasshoppers with especially spiny legs. They are enormous, with some growing as long as four inches. You will only find this species of insect in New Zealand, where there are many large species of insects due to the lack of any major predators. Without the need to evolve to be small and hard for predators to find, the bugs on islands like these are free to multiply and grow quickly.
3. Giant Burrowing Cockroach
This is a kind of cockroach that can be found in Australia. It can grow to over three inches long and weigh more than an ounce. One amazing thing about these cockroaches is that they can live to up to ten years, which may explain how some of them reach their giant size. They are harmless creatures that feed on decaying matter like dead eucalyptus leaves. They burrow deep into the ground to make their homes.
4. Mydas Fly
You are probably used to the common housefly, and when you think of a giant fly, you probably think of a big, fat housefly buzzing loudly through your home. However, in the desert, there are some kinds of flies that can actually grow to be as long as your middle finger. Their larvae are predatory and will live underground where they eat smaller insect larvae. The adults fly around looking for sweet nectar, making them important pollinators.
5. Giant Malaysian Shield Mantis
This may be one of the coolest bugs you’ve ever heard of. This giant praying mantis has powerful arms that it uses to kill big prey like locusts, spiders, and scorpions. Even more impressive, some of these mantises are so powerful that they can hunt mice, birds, and even small snakes. It is no wonder that a whole style of kung fu is called the “mantis” style.