World’s longest insect discovered – and it’s the size of a small branch

9 May 201616 Shares

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The face of Phryganistria chinensis Zhao, the world’s biggest insect, via Xinhua

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A new species of giant stick insect has been discovered in China, measuring in at a record 62.4cm, a full 6cm larger than any previous insect discovery.

Chinese scientists have released the first images of Phryganistria chinensis Zhao, the world’s longest known insect, after discovering it by chance two years ago.

Discovered in Guanxi almost 20 years after rumours of a giant stick insect as thick as a man’s finger spread in the region, the discovery, made by Zhao Li of the Insect Museum of West China, is remarkable.

World’s longest insect

The new stick insect discovery in relation to other insects, via Xinhua

World’s longest insect

“I was collecting insects on a 1,200m tall mountain in Guangxi’s Liuzhou City… when a dark shadow appeared in the distance, which looked like a tree twig,” Zhao said to Chinese media.

“As I went near, I was shocked to find the huge insect’s legs were as long as its body.”

The new stick insect discovery, via Xinhua World’s longest insect

The new stick insect discovery, via Xinhua

Zhao took the discovery back to the Chengdu-based Insect Museum of West China, where it laid half a dozen eggs. When they hatched, the smallest insect was 26cm, with the record-breaker coming in at more than double that.

The previous record-holder is known as Chan’s megastick, Phobaeticus chani is its official name. Here’s a creepy video of it.

Gordon Hunt is senior communications and context executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.

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