Five Generally Acknowledged Giant Insects in the World

May 19, 2008 / 12 Comments

Did you know that with more than 1 million species, insects are the most diverse group of animals on Earth? No matter if they are living in large well-organized colonies or alone, insects are not welcome into our world because they don’t seem to match our morals, habits and most of the time, psychology. The fact that most of the times they are scary, is not a secret either. For all these reasons and probably more others, here are our picks for 5 giant insects in the whole world.

A native from Borneo, Phobaeticus kirbyi is in terms of body length, the longest insect in the world. It’s a stick-insect and the female is rumored to be over 14-inches long and as thin as a rail. The stick insects are one of the most popular insects kept as pets.

phobaeticus kirbyi Five Generally Acknowledged Giant Insects in the World
Phobaeticus kirbyi – Image by john1kor

The Goliath beetles, also known as Megasoma elephas (elephant beetle), Goliathus goliatus, and Goliathus regius have the greatest visible body mass of all insects in the world. They are part of the scarab beetle family and are found in Africa’s tropical forests or Central America (elephant beetle) where they feed with tree sap and fruits. Talking about “diet” and compared to it’s body, a Megasoma in captivity was able to eat a whole avocado fruit in just one day. When an adult Goliath beetle flies it makes a sound similar to a toy helicopter running.

megasoma elephas elephant beetle Five Generally Acknowledged Giant Insects in the World
Megasoma elephas – Images by 1, 2, 3, 4

Titanus giganteus (Titan beetle) is an extremely rare South American Longhorn Beetle and the largest known in the Amazon rainforest. One of the most interesting facts about these insects is that males do not eat, but fly around to mate or to find those bright lights they’re so attracted of. The Titan beetle is also famous for its incredible mandibles, capable of snapping small pieces of wood and even flesh. With its antennae extended the biggest specimen was reported to be 9-inch long.

Titanius giganteus (titan beetle)
Titanus giganteus – image source

Deinacrida heteracantha also known as the Little Barrier Island giant weta is an endangered species in New Zealand. During the day it stays hidden in different holes and only gets out at night to feed with seeds and leafs. Though it has no wings, a pregnant giant weta have been weighed in at a record 71 grams. It is the heaviest insect in the world.

Deinacrida heteracantha also known as the Little Barrier Island giant weta
Deinacrida heteracantha – Image by FroggyDew

Considered one of the largest of all beetles, Megasoma acteon also known as the Acteon Beetle, is a South American rhinoceros beetle. The males can grow up to 3.5-inch long, 2-inch wide and 1.5-inch thick making it one of the bulkiest of the abundant order of beetles.

Megasoma acteon
Megasoma acteon – image source

Anyone else with entomophobia (fear of insects) now that you’ve seen these large insects ?