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10 of the largest insects in the world

By: Bryan Nelson on Feb. 17, 2016, 10:30 a.m.
Queen Alexandra's birdwing on display.

Photo: Mark Pellegrini/Wikimedia COmmons

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Queen Alexandra's birdwing

The largest butterfly in the world, Queen Alexandra's birdwing lives up to its name with a wingspan of more than 1 foot.

Found only in remote regions of Papua New Guinea, the first specimen ever found was taken down using a shotgun. Though it was only discovered in the West in 1906, this gentle giant is already considered endangered by the IUCN, primarily because of encroaching development in its native habitats, mostly from palm oil plantations. The species is very highly prized by butterfly collectors and fetches a high price on the black market due to its rarity.