Monday, December 6, 2010

Size Matters!

You know how they say that size doesn't matter? Well, I guess when you're an insect, size DOES matter! After all, when you're about just two inches in length, a centimeter or two can be a lot! On the other hand though, size certainly doesn't seem to be the problem for some of these creepy creatures!

World's Largest Spider
Goliath bird-eating Spider
This, my friends is a goliath bird-eating spider! As its name suggests, it is one of the largest spider species in the world and is big enough to prey on lizards, snakes, small mammals and even, you guessed it, birds! Native to the damp rainforests of South America, the goliath bird-eating spider is a whopper and can reach over 12inches in length! That's the size of two 15cm rulers and MUCH bigger than my palm! Fortunately though, like most tarantulas the bite of the Goliath bird eater is more painful, than it is poisonous and its effects can be comparable to say, a wasp's sting.

World's Largest Beetle

Titan Beetle

This monster here is the Titan beetle and no, it does not look big just because it is in the hands of a child, some specimens of these beetles have been known to reach up to 17 centimeters long! Named after the fearsome Titans of greek mythology, these beetles posses no mouthparts with which to feed but that doesn't stop them from using their fearsome mandibles in self defense which are strong enough, reportedly to snap a wooden pencil clean in half! One mysterious fact about these insects though, their eggs, larvae and pupal stage have never been found and only the adults, which are attracted to lights make their appearances.

World's Largest Centipede

Amazonian Giant Centipede
Scolopendra Gigantea, or the Amazonian Giant Centipede is, as its name suggests the world's largest centipede. This scary looking animal measures up to thirty centimeters long and posseses a body that consists of 21-23 segments. To hunt, the Amazonian Giant Centipede is known to hang from the roof of caves to catch passing bats that fly out in their hundreds every night to feed. Their front two claws operate as weapons that inject a highly potent venom that paralyses smaller creatures but can cause intense pain, swelling, chills, fever and weakness in humans! Unlikely to be fatal, but not something I would care to chance!

World's Largest Butterfly/Moth

Atlas Moth
And now perhaps for a giant that's a little less scary. Of all the lepidoptera species in the world, it is the magnificent Atlas Moth that boasts the largest wing area. Measuring up to 30cm long in some specimens the Atlas Moth is also the heaviest moth in the world. Not possesing mouth parts as adults, these gigantic silk moths do not feed and instead rely on the large ammounts of fat stored within their furry bodies from when they were caterpillars. As such their lifespans are brief and their sole purposes are to fly in search of a mate.


Nature Rambles said...

What a great post! Although I like to photograph spiders, I'd never touch them!! I don't think I've seen that beetle or the centipede. The ones here are small enough. The Atlas moth is beautiful!

Cyren said...

Hi Kanak!

I recently managed to obtain two very beautiful moth specimens of the Saturniid family including an Indian Moon Moth! They are fairly large themselves and very beautiful :)