Is this the world’s largest mosquito? Chinese expert catches super-size insect that’s bigger than your HAND

Posted on April 30, 2018.

Nobody likes being bitten by mosquitoes - certainly not by this one.

An insect expert claimed to have caught the world’s largest mosquito with an astonishing 11.15cm (4.4in) wing span – about 10 times longer than that of an average mosquito.

The massive insect was caught on Qingcheng Mountain in south-west China’s Sichuan Province.

An insect expert claimed to have caught the largest mosquito in the world (specimen pictured)

The super-size insect was caught in south-west China by Chinese entomologist Zhao Li last August. It has been turned into a specimen and would be displayed in a museum in Chengdu

The mosquito was discovered by Chinese entomologist Zhao Li during a field inspection in August, 2017.

Mr Zhao told MailOnline the insect belonged to a species called holorusia mikado, which is the world’s largest mosquito species originating in Japan.

When he first caught the mosquito, he thought it was extraordinarily big. However, he has only recently confirmed it to be the largest mosquito in the world.

Mr Zhao said a normal holorusia mikado’s wing span is about 8cm (3.1in) – nearly a third shorter than the one caught by Mr Zhao.

He added that the holorusia mikado mosquitoes found in China’s Sichuan Province are in general larger than those found in Japan.

Although the insect is also known as crane fly in the West, which is thought to be different from a mosquito. Mr Zhao insisted that the insect he found was a mosquito.

Mr Zhao, who is a senior biological engineer and senior wild animal protection engineer, said crane fly is the name given to the entire insect family of Tipulidae, which in Chinese translates into ‘big mosquito’.

Mr Zhao said from the biological point of view, a mosquito is any insect belonging to the Nematocera insect group.

There are seven groups of mosquito, including Tipuloidea (which includes crane flies) and Chironomidae.

The expert also said that a cultural gap might have caused a confusion.

‘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 categorised as mosquitoes.’

The insect belongs to a species called holorusia mikado, the world’s largest mosquito species

Mr Zhao said the life span of a holorusia mikado mosquito is about a week.

The record-breaking mosquito has been turned into a specimen to be displayed in the Insect Museum of West China, of which Mr Zhao is the curator.

Interestingly, Mr Zhao said the monstrous-looking mosquito didn’t actually bite people. It supported itself with the nutrition it had taken in as a larva, said Mr Zhao.

The mosquito’s specimen is due to be shown to the public during an exhibition about strange insects in the Insect Museum of West China in May.

Mr Zhao has in the past also caught the world’s largest insect: a female stick insect measuring 64cm (25in) long – the average length of a young man’s arm.

Zhao Li has also caught the world’s largest insect, a stick insect as long as a young man’s arm

Source: Daily Mail