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When the museum's live exhibits keeper Maik Fiedel shone his flashlight on the insect in a tree several metres above the ground, he immediately recognised the species. "As soon as I saw what it was, I went pale and couldn't even talk for a while."
Gargantuan insects a rare breed
ntuan has died Maik believes she was at the end of her 9 to 12 month lifespan. But the story is not yet over, since she laid 12 eggs, which the museum specialists are incubating in hopes that they will hatch Adidas Stan Smith Primeknit Light Grey
There have been unconfirmed sightings of large specimens of Ctenomorpha gargantua by members of the public. One person measured and photographed a 61.5cm insect, but released it back into the bush, meaning that the official scientific record could not be claimed.
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Gargantuan stick insect a record breaker
Museum Victoria live exhibits keeper Maik Fiedel with the Lady Gaga ntuan stick insect.
During their annual bug hunting trip to North Queensland, collectors from Museum Victoria in Melbourne stumbled across a gargantuan stick insect (Ctenomorpha gargantua). The specimen was 50cm long, including outstretched legs, placing it amongst the largest in the world, and the longest in Australia.
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Nicknamed 'Lady Gaga ntuan', this specimen is the latest so far of only a handful of sightings. First described in 2006, this stick insect, or phasmid, is thought to dwell high up in the canopy of the rainforest, so it was a surprise to find it lower down, within human reach.
Biggest gargantuan stick insect found
in coming months.
The current record holder for longest insect in the world is a 56.7cm long specimen of Phobaeticus chani from Borneo, held in the Natural History Museum in London. "It's great that a female has finally been collected. It's a great discovery," he says.
"I actually think this is the largest species in the world," Maik told Australian Geographic. "However, there is yet no officially recorded specimen to back that up. Unfortunately, the one I found is [relatively] small."
A RARE SPECIMEN of the longest stick insect in Australia and possibly the world was found Adidas Neo Infant Shoes recently in North Queensland.
Video: Lady Gaga ntuan stick insect
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