Our world accommodates a wide variety of small and large living creatures. One of the most frequently found classes includes the class of insects. This group of species can survive in major parts of the earth. Some of the examples include roaches and flies. But which insect is the largest one, let’s discuss!
If one considers weight and length as different parameters for defining the largest, then there are two answers to this question. While the tropical stick insect is the longest, having been measured up to 33 centimeters, the heaviest insect in the world is the Goliath beetle of equatorial Africa.
The name has biblical roots. It is named after the Goliath for his ultimate strength and power.
Along with being the largest, it is also the heaviest of all insects. During the larval stage, the female Goliath beetles can weigh as heavy as 100 grams. While the full-grown male adults weigh around 50 to 60 grams (half).
As big as a human hand, this beetle can grow up to 12 centimeters in length and reaches about 20 centimeters wide when it spreads its wings for flight. It has a massive build-up of hard, glossy armor called chitin around its body. This armor is responsible for the majority of its body weight. The Goliath beetle is also the heaviest flying insect. It is amazing how nature can sometimes make the impossible, possible. A 100-gram insect flying around is something truly spectacular.
It is classified into the subfamily Cetoniinae, which belongs to the family Scarabaeidae, commonly known as the Scrabs. It is commonly found in tropical regions of Africa. You can easily spot one as they come in vivid colors, each boasting a unique pattern of markings on its body. The strange markings are compared with a number of things like skeletons and doodling.
Different species of the Goliath beetles are characterized by their colors, markings, and patterns. Other than that, they all share the same general shape and size.
Its large body is very powerful, with three sets of legs and claws. The legs are forked, which enable them to climb and perch on branches, trees, and vines. One will never find a Goliath beetle on a leaf because something so flimsy and heavy can certainly not support a stone-hard creature.
They have two sets of wings, one is the flying wings, while the other set of wings are reinforced and act as a protective barrier. The flying wings are folded and tucked underneath the reinforced set of wings. Males are distinguished with the horns on their heads for battling with other males. While the while females have wedge-shaped heads which they use to create underground burrows for laying eggs.
You will be amazed to find out that although the adult beetle has a lifespan of three to six months, it’s dormant stages of larvae and pupae can survive for such long periods as well.
African children sometimes amuse themselves by tying a piece of string around one of these Goliath beetles and fly it in circles like a miniature kite. More often than not, Goliath beetles are fried in palm oil and eaten by the natives.
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