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Nature & Environment

World's second longest insect discovered

By T.K. Randall
December 4, 2014 · Comment icon 15 comments

Stick insects are incredibly well camouflaged in trees and bushes. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Thomas Brown
An incredible stick insect measuring up to 54cm long has been found by researchers in Vietnam.
Perfectly adapted to blend in to its surrounding habitat, the new species is part of a group of leaf-eating insects that look so much like sticks and twigs that it is very difficult to even spot them at all.

Known as Phryganistria heusii yentuensis, it was first identified by researchers from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) during a recent expedition to Vietnam in which they discovered a number of new insect species.
To find them the team used a technique known as 'beating' which involves placing a large bed sheet on the ground beneath some foliage and then unceremoniously whacking the bushes with a large stick. Many species of insect play dead when disturbed and will simply fall on to the sheet.

Vietnam itself is part of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, a region filled with unique plants and animals that can be found nowhere else on the planet.

It is hoped that the research team, working in conjunction with Vietnamese biologists, will be able to discover many more new species of insects in the years to come.

Source: Wired | Comments (15)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Atuke 10 years ago
"Take the hill!" VIET F-ING NAM
Comment icon #7 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 10 years ago
WHats the first? I am.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Chosen Undead 10 years ago
Please tell me it doesn't fly.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Karasu 10 years ago
I love the smell of Napalm in the morning....it smells like mutant insects.
Comment icon #10 Posted by pallidin 10 years ago
Please tell me it doesn't fly. It doesn't, but YOU will if one falls on you or crawls up your leg.
Comment icon #11 Posted by dharma warrior 10 years ago
The insect uses this incredible camouflage to sneak up on unsuspecting sticks.
Comment icon #12 Posted by qxcontinuum 10 years ago
Cool... When will they start eating them?
Comment icon #13 Posted by ovakynd 10 years ago
def not an insect person except for dragonfly's they are kinda cool !!
Comment icon #14 Posted by highdesert50 10 years ago
When is a stick really a branch? Since we expect a much smaller insect, the larger insect actually becomes the more invisible. I'll stick to watching the smaller variety, though.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Zero Fox FK 10 years ago
Second is just another word for First Loser! Why haven't we destroyed all insects yet? You know they're gonna over throw us at some point...

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