Largest Aquatic Insect Discovered in China

'With its wingspan measured as 21 centimetres, the insect won the title of the largest aquatic insect in the world,' reported Ecns.cn, the official English-language service of the state-run China News Service. (Zhong Xin/China News Service)

‘With its wingspan measured as 21 centimetres, the insect won the title of the largest aquatic insect in the world,’ reported Ecns.cn, the official English-language service of the state-run China News Service. (Zhong Xin/China News Service)

After my cowardly run-in with a cockroach this morning (I screamed like a child, while sending my boyfriend in a bug catching frenzy), I can certifiably say, I hope I never meet one of these face to face.

via CBC News:

An insect with huge horn-like jaws and a wingspan similar to a sparrow’s has been reported by Chinese media as a record-breaking find.

“With its wingspan measured as 21 centimetres, the insect won the title of the largest aquatic insect in the world,” reported Ecns.cn, the official English-language service of the state-run China News Service.

The website posted photos of the insect, which was found in the mountains near Chengdu, in Sichuan province. One shows the insect’s lacy, patterned dragonfly-like wings stretched far wider than the palm of the person holding it, and in another, a modest-looking chicken egg sits nearby for scale.

The website says the photos were taken on July 17 and that the insect belongs to the taxonomic group or order Megaloptera (a name that means large, folded wings). The group includes large insects called dobsonflies or fishflies, along with smaller alderflies.

While the insect is claimed as the largest “aquatic” insect, dobsonflies and alderflies only live in the water as a larvae or juvenile – adults live on land. On the other hand, they spend only a few days as adults. While the larvae are ferocious underwater predators, the adults either don’t eat or sip only nectar and fruit juice.

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