• Biodiversity Chan’s Megastick
  • Chan’s Megastick

    Phobaeticus chani

    This is the largest, or at least the longest, insect in the living world. It can grow to 22 inches long if you count the legs as well (Its body is still a whopping 14 inches!). It is extremely long and slender, making it blend in with its surroundings of sticks, leaves and vines.

    It has been named the Chan’s Megastick, because it was found by a local villager and handed to Malaysian amateur naturalist Datuk Chan Chew Lun in 1989.

    Chan’s Megastick was discovered in the tropical rainforests of Borneo, Indonesia. The largest specimen discovered is under the care of the Natural History Museum in London.

    Almost nothing is known about the biology and lifestyle of this bizarre insect. It is a vegetarian. They most likely live high in the forest canopies of the rainforest, making it very difficult to find in this relatively unexplored area of rainforest ecosystems.

    Most stick insects lay their eggs individually and fling them in to the air where they land on the ground and hatch in the soil.

    A very close relative is Phobaeticus serratipes, another stick insect found in Malaysia and Indonesia. It is very long as well. But so far chani is at least a half inch longer than serratipes.

    Related Topics

    Written by Rob Nelson

    Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is also an award winning filmmaker. As principle director of the Untamed Science productions his goal is to create videos and content that are both entertaining and educational. When he's not making science content, he races slalom kayaks and skydives.

    You can follow Rob Nelson