World’s Longest Insect Is Borneo Stick Insect

Written by Jaxon S on October 18th, 2008 in Borneo Flora and Fauna.

How long, do you think, is the world’s longest insect? Fifty-six centimetres. What kind of insect that could grow that long? It’s the Borneo stick insect, so named as it resembles a stick.

Villagers in Ulu Moyog, in Penampang district in the Malaysian Bornean state of Sabah, found the insect in 1989 and handed it over to naturalist Chan Chew Lun (The Star picture, below).

The Star reported that the insect has been officially named Phobaticus chani, or Chan’s megastick, after the naturalist.

In this month’s issue of the scientific journal Zootaxa by British scientist Philip Bragg, London’s Natural History Museum scientific associate Paul Brock was quoted as saying that the stick insect was the longest still in existence and this assessment was confirmed by Marco Gottardo, an entomologist at Italy’s Natural History Museum of Ferrara; and Aaron T. Dossey, a resear­cher at the University of Florida in Gainesville who studies the insects.

Chan said he was honoured to have the stick insect named after him.

“This is something so special. After all, how many people would have the world’s largest insect named after them?” said Chan, who runs the Kota Kinabalu-based Natural History Pub­lications.

He would go out to meet villagers and ask them to obtain specimens of the insect for him.

“One day in 1989, I met a farmer who handed over this huge stick insect he found somewhere at Ulu Moyog in Penampang district and I realised that it could be a totally new species,” he said in the report.

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One Response to “World’s Longest Insect Is Borneo Stick Insect”

  1. Adlai Says:

    Nearly the length of a human arm, a recently identified stick bug from the island of Borneo is the world’s longest insect, British scientists said today.The specimen was found by a local villager and handed to Malaysian amateur naturalist Datuk Chan Chew Lun in 1989, according to Philip Bragg, who formally identified the insect in this month’s issue of peer-reviewed journal Zootaxa.

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