Some of the BIGGEST bugs you'll ever see
Giant Walking Stick Not all giant bugs are outfitted with terrifyingly sharp jaws and a suit of external armor: The giant walking stick looks practically dainty next to these plus-sized beetles. Or at least, it would look that way if you could spot it -- these insects are some of the most successful hiders in the world, with bodies that very closely match the trees and branches where they live. Female walking sticks are often larger than the males, and have been known to reach as long as 21 inches when measured from toe to toe. You'll find them almost worldwide, in tropical regions and some temperate zones, where they take shelter under plants during the day and feast on leaves at night.
Titan Beetle The Latin name of this beetle pretty much says it all: Titanus giganteus. Not only is it big for a beetle -- it's the most massive member of its species, longhorn beetles, and the longest beetle found so far in the Amazon rainforest -- it's just plain huge, with adults reaching as long as 8 inches in length. That's longer than some Chihuahuas, the Natural History Museum points out, to put this length in perspective. Wikipedia claims that the larvae of the titan beetle have never been seen in person, but that "boreholes thought to be created by titan beetle larvae seem to fit a grub over two inches wide and perhaps as much as one foot long."
Dung Beetle Though the dung beetle doesn't have the size advantage of some of the other beetles and bugs on this list, it overpowers them in one key weigh: It's gifted with Hulk-type strength. While larger animals can carry more weight overall, they can't carry as much proportional weight; the dung beetle can move items with a mass that's 1,141 times heavier than itself. (To borrow an example, this would the equivalent of a human pulling 180,000 pounds, or "six full double-decker buses"). But why are they so strong? Researchers explained that males need to be tough enough to fight off rivals who would try to pull them out of the holes they go into in order to mate with females.
Giant Water Bug It's not unusual for water bugs to be mistaken for cockroaches -- but at four inches long, the giant water bugs are noticeably bigger. These bugs thrive near slow-moving water where they can eat tadpoles and small fish (and survive on crickets when in captivity). The small, round sacs on the back of this male water bug are eggs; the female water bug lays them on his back, secreting a gluey liquid to attach them, and the male carries them until they hatch.
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