167. The Longest Insect!


The Phasmatodea is an order of insects known as The Stick insects. “Phasma” in ancient Greek means an apparition or a phantom.This refers to the resemblance of the species to sticks or leaves.

They are so well camouflaged that they can’t be spotted. Their body shape mimics the branches of their home and the insect resembles the twig on which it lives.

There are over 3000 species known. The smallest one, Timema Cristinae found in North America, is a mere half an inch long. The giant stick insect of Borneo, the Phobaeticus Kirbyi, measures 13 inches from its head to its abdomen and an impressive 21 inches with it legs outstretched. Females are usually longer than males.

Stick insects thrive in forests and grasslands. They feed on leaves. The are nocturnal and spend their days motionless under the plants.They feign death to thwart the predators.They will shed a limb to escape the enemy’s grasp. They may even swipe at the predator with its spine covered legs or emit a putrid smelling liquid.

The largest insect in the prehistoric times was a dragon fly with a wing span of one meter. The biggest dragon fly found now has a wing span of 8 inches across.

Visalakshi Ramani

2 Responses to 167. The Longest Insect!

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