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5 Of The Worlds Largest Insect Species

No doubt that we have a large variety insect species across Canada’s vast natural landscapes. Fortunately a lot of these insect species are not very large and, for the most part, they are not considered a major threat to our health.

In other parts of the world, however, there are some massive insect species that are actually larger than some wildlife pests that are found in Canada. These insect species are freaks of nature that would surely frighten even the bravest souls.

In this article we explore some of these massive insect species that are found in other parts of the world, and give thanks for living in a place far away from them.

Hercules Beetle

There are thousands of beetle species in the world, but none is as large as the hercules beetle when you take into account its body length plus the length of its horn. Like other massive beetle species such as the titan beetle, hercules beetles are native to the rain forests of South and Central America.

Closeup side view of a rhinoceros beetle

The Hercules beetle is a type of rhinoceros beetle with full grown males reaching a staggering length of 17.5 cms. These beetles are not only massive in size, they are also incredibly strong with reports suggesting that they can carry over 800 times their body mass.

Giant Stick Insects

In terms of body length, giant walking sticks are definitely the longest insects in the world. In particular, the giant walking sticks native to Southeast Asia are the world’s largest reaching body lengths of 2 feet long.

stick insect - Madagascar

These insects are not considered to be dangerous in any way and as such have many predators. As a result, they have developed some interesting defense mechanisms, most notably appearing identical to a branch or stick from a plant or tree that they live on.

Goliath Birdeater

Native to the rain forests of South America, the Goliath birdeater is the largest spider species in the world in terms of its mass and overall size. This massive spider species can reach leg spans of around 28 cm, body lengths of up to 12 cm and an overall weight of 175 grams.

Despite its name, goliath birdeaters rarely actually feed on birds and instead feed primarily on earthworms, toads and small vertebrates. Their defense mechanism consists of severely irritating hairs that they can release when threatened, and massive venomous fangs that they use to kill prey as seen in the video above.

Atlas Moth

Found mostly in the Malay Archipelago, atlas moths are considered to be the largest moth species in the world, reaching sizes larger than many bird species. These moths reach wing spans close to 1 foot in length and a total wing surface area of 60 square inches.

butterfly in close-up called attacus atlas on a leaf

The cocoon of these moths are so large and durable that local villagers in Taiwan actually turn them into usable products like purses and change pockets.

Griffin flies

To close off the list of the world’s largest bugs, we thought it would be suitable to mention the largest insect that has ever lived on earth.

Meet the Griffinfly, a bug that very closely resembled modern day dragonflies, but with a wingspan of approximately 2.5 feet across and massive mandibles. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your frame of reference, these beasts went extinct about 245 million years ago.