The Largest Insects In The World

Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules) is the largest known beetle that can grow to 7 inches (over 17.5 cm). It is native to the rainforests of Central America, South America, and the Lesser Antilles.

Titan beetle (Titanus giganteus) is the second-largest known beetle. Adults can grow up to 6.5 inches (16.7 cm) long. It is found in the rain forests of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, the Guianas, and north-central Brazil.

Thorny devil stick insect (Eurycantha calcarata) is 5-6 inches (11–15 cm) long. The species is native to Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighboring islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae) is the largest butterfly in the world with females reaching wingspans in excess of 9.8 inches (25 cm). It is restricted to the forests of the Oro Province in eastern Papua New Guinea. The species is endangered, and is one of only three insects (the other two being butterflies as well) to be listed on Appendix I of CITES, making international trade illegal.

Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) is one the largest moths in the world with its wingspans reaching over 9.8 inches (25 cm). It is found in the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia, and is common across the Malay archipelago.

Goliath birdeater

Goliath birdeater

Central American Giant Cave Cockroach (Blaberus giganteus) is one of the largest cockroaches in the world. Males can reach 3.2-4 inches (7.5-10 cm) in length. It is native to Central America and northern South America, and can be found naturally occurring in the rainforests.

Giant cave cockroach

Royal Goliath beetle (Goliathus regius) is one of the largest beetles in the world. Males can reach 2.0–4.3 inches (5–11 cm) in length. The species is native to Africa.

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Giant weta or wetapunga (Hemideina gigantea). This large cricket is 3.4 inches (8.5 cm) long and weighs 2.5 oz (70 g). Wetas live only in New Zealand. They are an ancient group and have changed little over the past 190 million years.

Actaeon beetle (Megasoma actaeon) is 2.0–4.7 inches (5–12 cm) long. It is the heaviest and bulkiest of all insects. Its fully grown larva weighs over 7 oz (250 g). This species can be found in South America, particularly in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

Giant water Bug (Lethocerus americanus) is 2.0–2.4 inches (5–6 cm) long.

Tarantula hawk wasp (Pepsis formosa) is up to 2.0 inches (5 cm) long. It is so called because it stings and paralyzes tarantula spiders and then drag them to their nest burrows for their larvae to feed on.


  1. Animal Records. Mark Carwardine
  2. Insects and Spiders of the World, Volume 10
  3. Smith, A. J. and Cook, T, J. 2008. Host Specificity of Five Species of Eugregarinida Among Six Species of Cockroaches (Insecta:Blattodea). Comparative Parasitology. 75: 288-291.

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