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10 of the largest insects in the world

By: Bryan Nelson on Feb. 17, 2016, 10:30 a.m.

Photo: Gunnar Ries Amphibol/Wiki Commons/CC License

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Big bugs

The largest insects that ever lived were dragonfly-like bugs of the order Protodonata, sometimes referred to as griffinflies. They had wingspans of nearly 2.5 feet across and huge mandibles, making them formidable predators.

Thankfully, they went extinct a long time ago at the end of the Paleozoic Era. Although insects can't grow quite that large in today's world, there are a few that are nevertheless large enough to give even seasoned entomologists a good fright.

Here's our list of 10 of the largest insects alive today.

This story was originally written in November 2010 but has been updated with additional information.