Tuesday 12 December 2017

Scientists believe they've discovered the world's longest insect – which measures over half a metre

The pictured insect is one of six offspring from a stick insect measuring 62.4 centimetres found two years ago in the southern province of Guangxi which broke the record for length amongst the world's 807,625 known insects, according to the official Xinhua agency. Photo: /AFP/Getty Images
The pictured insect is one of six offspring from a stick insect measuring 62.4 centimetres found two years ago in the southern province of Guangxi which broke the record for length amongst the world's 807,625 known insects, according to the official Xinhua agency. Photo: /AFP/Getty Images
The stick insect measuring 62.4 centimetres found two years ago in the southern province of Guangxi has broken the record for length amongst the world's 807,625 known insects, the official Xinhua agency said, citing the Insect Museum of West China. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
This photo from the Insect Museum of West China shows the world's longest insect (centre) compared with other smaller insects at the Insect Museum of West China in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan province. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Scientists in China believe that they have discovered the world's longest insect – which measures over half a metre.

The new species of stick insect measures 62.4 centimetres precisely and belongs to the genus Phryganistria, the scientists say.

Zhao Li from the Insect Museum of West China, who discovered the insect, said he had been hunting the insect for years.

Local farmers had told him of a "huge insect" as thick an adult's index finger.

"I was collecting insects on a 1,200-meter-tall mountain in Guangxi's Liuzhou City [when] a dark shadow appeared in the distance, which looked like a tree twig," Zhao told Xinhua.

"As I went near, I was shocked to find the huge insect's legs were as long as its body,” he told China’s state media outlet Xinhua.

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