A newly discovered member of theMegaloptera family has been found that could be the largest aquatic insect inthe world.
It was found on a mountain in Chengdu,Sichuan province in China.
The mysterious specimen of which little isknown has a wingspan of 8.3 inches (21 centimetres).
The family of Megaloptera includes about 300 species of fishflies, dobsonfliesand alderflies.
The name Megaloptera describes that insectshave large (megal) wings (ptera) compared to their bodies
And this latest find is no exception, dwarfing other such insects of the order.
According to Scientific American members of the Megaloptera family arenot well known.
When they are larvae they spend a lot oftime out of sight in the water, only leaving when they pupate and they becomeadults.
They can be found in or near a variety ofwet environments including ponds, lakes and swamps.
The huge mandibles at the front of theinsect, meanwhile, are not used for eating but rather to attract females andhold them in place during mating.
The species is also known for its ferociousbite, which can break human skin.
Megaloptera insects typically live for onlya few days as adults, so many will spend there few days of adulthood mating,producing new larvae to grow underwater.
With a wingspan 8.3 inches (21centimetres), this species breaks the previous record holder for largestaquatic insect, the South American helicopter
damselfly, which has a wingspanof 7.5 inches (19 centimetres).
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MGWorcester., Worcester, United Kingdom, 13 hours agoWhere did they copy it from ?
mundane,Poole, United Kingdom, 12 hours agoProbably a huge locust; there is a speciethat is around 8 inches. They call it 'tara maraquera' in Venezuela
George,Durham, United Kingdom, 11 hours agoPossibly a Stag Beetle? Used to get thosein the garden when I lived in SE London. They are BIG and, alarmingly, can fly.
DLloyd1992,New Forest Southern England, United Kingdom, 12 hours agoI'd scream like a little girl, poo myselfand run.
RealTalk, London, 10 hours agoThats nothing, look up the Whip Spider!
s.gee,staffordshire, United Kingdom, 12 hours agowhat does it taste like ??
MickMcNulty, Thetford, United Kingdom, 12 hours agoI don't believe it's just been discovered,not something that size which emerges from water. It sounds to me more likesomething scientists have created, either to see if they could do it or justbecause they can. Now they're gauging the reaction to its discovery.
MiddleHouse forever, Mayfield, United Kingdom, 12 hours agoNot to worry, it will become extinct soon.
Mikki,Manchester, 12 hours agoThat's got to be an alien pretending to bea bug....................
SmithenWesson, Tulsa, United States, 11 hours agoI'm sure locals have known about themforever and make a fine soup or something from them.
professor_plum,ukville, 11 hours agoMore and more of these monsters will evolveas the planet gets hotter naturally. Look at the size of insects from 70million years ago. They were crazy. Dragonflies the size of a bus.
Geoff,Chichester, United Kingdom, 9 hours agoImpossible. To be any bigger animals needto be able to breathe and process air in big quantities. Vertebrates, whichinclude us, have evolved lungs, or for fishes, gills, which do that. Insectsand other invertebrates do not have lungs which puts a limit on how big theycan grow.
TimNice but Dim, Posh part of London, United Kingdom, 10 hours agoEnding up in a stir fry with chilli andgarlic at a Chinese restaurant soon...
JoelKamp, San Francisco, Singapore, 6 hours agoTim, if it did, it would still be a wholelot better than the pigs, horses, cows, ducks etc that end up in Englishrestaurants.