The world’s largest mosquito was found in China – and it’s 10 times the size of an average sucker.
It’s larger than the human hand with a wingspan of 11.15 cm (4.4 inches) and is a member of the species Holorusia Mikado, which is more commonly found in Japan.
This species is recognized as the world’s largest mosquito species – but this particular specimen is even larger than the average 8 cm wingspan length of the Holorusia Mikado.
The giant insect was found by Chinese entomologist Zhao Li, a senior biological and wild animal protection engineer, during a field inspection on Qingcheng Mountain in Sichuan Province.
Zhao said that, in general, such mosquitoes found in Sichuan Province are larger than those in Japan, but while he classifies the Holorusia Mikado species in the mosquito family, it’s known as a crane fly in the West.
He argued that it definitely is a mosquito, biologically speaking, and blames a cultural gap for the possible cause of confusion. According to Zhao, the entire insect family of Tipulidae, aka “crane fly”, translates into “big mosquito” in Chinese. In biological terms, a mosquito is an insect that belongs to the Nematocera insect group.
“There are a wide definition and a narrow definition of the mosquito family. Under the narrow definition, only a mosquito that bites is a mosquito. Different countries have different ways to call and define insects, but from a biological perspective, Holorusia Mikados are categorized as mosquitoes.” — Zhao Li
Thankfully, the insect, which lives for about a week, doesn’t drink human blood, but mainly survives on nutrition taken in during the larval stage, like nectar.
They are also not very good fliers due to their size, and mostly hop.
Netizens are understandably shocked at its mammoth size, which is reminiscent of the giant bugs in the 1995 movie Jumanji.
— 21plz (@markgangte96) April 24, 2018
— Mandy D (@deng_ali) April 24, 2018
— Worldstar P.R. (@worldstar_pr) April 24, 2018
- “Hate to have that sucker on me!”
- “It’s so big!”
- “Just a heads up but outside is banned from now on, ok?”
Hopefully the giant mosquito won’t feature in our nightmares!