Experts Have Bred The World’s Largest Insect
You may think you know which insects are among the largest in the world. But entomologists working at a Museum in western China have successfully bred the largest stick insect in existence. The insect is appropriately named “The Gigantic Stick Insect.” This species of stick insect is known as Phryganistria chinensis, and it was discovered in 2014. Chinese entomologist, Zhao Li, discovered the species during an early morning search through China’s southern forests. These insects were then sent to a lab for breeding. What resulted was a stick insect that is as long as an adult’s arm.
The stick insect discovered by Zhao in 2014 was, at the time, the longest insect in the world. The record holding bug, which measured over 62 centimeters in length, had been kept within a museum laboratory where it laid several eggs. One the the hatched eggs became the new record holder at 64 cm in length. According to Zhao, this new insect is not only the longest, but also the largest insect in the world.
According to international standards, insect size can be determined by its length or the span of its wings. So while this super-long stick insect may be very skinny, it is nevertheless considered the largest insect. Stick insects are normally six cm in length after hatching, and they can live for one year.
One peculiar aspect of this species of stick insect is its taste for strawberry jam. However, the entomologists in charge of caring for these enormous insects have to watch how much strawberry jam they eat because they do not respond well to artificial flavorings. These insects love the jam so much, that they are even willing to give up all other types of food just to taste the jam; even the food they eat naturally in the wild. The next generation of these stick insects may be even larger than its gigantic parent.
Can you think of any insect that comes close to the length sported by stick insects? Would you be interested in holding one of these giant insects yourself?