MNN Galleries

10 of the largest insects in the world

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

Photo: Mike Locke/flickr

4 of 12

Giant weta

Endemic to New Zealand, giant wetas are enormous bugs that are related to crickets. The largest giant wetas can weigh in excess of 70 grams (about 2.5 ounces), making them among the heaviest insects in the world. (They can weigh more than a sparrow.) They are too heavy to fly.

They are long too, with bodies measuring as long as about 4 inches not including the legs and antennae.

The insect's name comes from the maori word "wetapunga" which means "God of the Ugly Things." It earned the moniker because of its frightening looks.

Because these giants are only found on islands, they are an excellent example of island gigantism.