10 Most Freakishly Massive Insects on Earth

Bugs are creepy. Big bugs are creepier. But these bugs are that stuff horror movies are made of!

1. Atlas Moth aka Snake’s Head Moth – Attacus Atlas

Considered to be the largest moth on Earth, with a wingspan that reaches up to 10-12 inches (25-30cm) and a surface area upwards of 65 square inches, the Atlas Moth is one diesel nocturnal bug.

It got its nickname from the patterns along the edges of its wings, which somewhat resemble the head of a snake ready to attack.

2. Chinese Mantis – Tenodera Aridifolia Sinensis

Growing up to 4 inches in length, and known to prey on everything from their own kind to humming birds, the Chinese mantis is one scary predator in the insect world.

Mantis eat BeePhoto: Jot Powers

3. Giant Water Bug aka Toe Biter – Lethocerus

LethocerusPhoto: Dieno

The picture shown top, actually illustrates the giant water bugs close relation, the Belostomatinae, a slightly smaller subfamily in which the female lays its eggs on the back of the male. Therefore what these ones lack in size they more than make up for in added creepiness.

Above is the actual Lethocerus sp., which can grow up to 11 centimeters long.

4. Camel Spider aka Wind Scorpion – Solifugae
Giant Camel SpidersPhoto: U.S. Armed Forces

One of the scariest looking critters on this list (though technically an arachnid and not an insect), the camel spider has become somewhat of a creature of legend in the deserts it inhabits. Growing up to almost 3 inches long and traveling at speeds up to 10mph it’s no wonder this creature is the source of urban legends.

5. Giant Walking Stick – Phasmatodea Phobaeticus

The world’s longest insects, measuring up to 13 inches from head to abdomen, the walking stick bug is one interesting looking fellow.

6. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing – Ornithoptera alexandrae
Queen Alexandra's BirdwingPhoto: Mark Pellegrini

The biggest butterfly in the world, the Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing has a wingspan that can be greater than a foot long (31cm) and a body mass of only a half ounce.

7. Goliath Beetle – Goliathus
goliath beetlePhoto: H. Zell

Among the largest insects on Earth, the Goliath beetle can reach up to 4.5 inches long and weigh an astonishing 3.5oz.

8. Giant Weta – Deinacrida heteracantha
Giant WetaPhoto: Adrian Pingstone

Reaching up to 4 inches long and weighing up to a typical 35g the giant weta is more than just a creepy looking insect.

If the camel spider looked intimidating, you might be surprised to see the above video of a giant weta completely dominating one in a fight to the death.

9. Hercules Beetle – Dynastes hercules
Hercules BeetlePhoto: Adrian Pingstone

Able to carry 850 times its own body weight, the Hercules beetle has more than earned its title. Its larvae weigh up to 120g and adult males can reach lengths of up to 6.75 inches (170mm).

10. Giant Burrowing Cockroach aka Rhinoceros cockroach – Macropanesthia rhinoceros
Giant Burrowing CockroachPhoto: Mark Pellegrini

Able to live up to 10 years and weighing up to 35g (1.2oz), the giant burrowing cockroach is the heaviest species of cockroach in existence.

It has earned the nickname litter bug through its process of shedding its outer shell, an act it will perform 12 or 13 times before reaching its full size of over 3 inches long.

Honorable Mention:

Giant Isopod – Bathynomus giganteus
giant isopodPhoto: NOAA

Technically a crustacean and not an insect, the giant isopod has earned a mention on this list for its insane size and close resemblance to the terrestrial pill bug. These creepy crawlers can reach sizes of up to 30 inches (76 cm) long and weigh up to a ridiculous 3.7lb (1.7kg).