Top 10 Largest Flying Insects in the World

The insect kingdom is vast and diverse, with millions of species that vary in size, shape, and function.

While many insects are diminutive, some have evolved to impressive sizes, especially when it comes to wingspan or body length.

In this article, we’ll explore ten of the largest flying insects, marvels of nature that never cease to fascinate.

RankInsect NameSize
1White Witch MothUp to 12 inches (30 cm)
2Atlas Moth10-12 inches (25-30 cm)
3Queen Alexandra’s BirdwingsUp to 11 inches (28 cm)
4Hercules BeetleUp to 7 inches (18 cm)
5Titan BeetleUp to 6.5 inches (16.5 cm)
6Tropidacris GrasshoppersUp to 6 inches (15 cm)
7Giant Water BugUp to 4.75 inches (12 cm)
8Goliath BeetlesUp to 4.3 inches (11 cm)
9Mydas FlyUp to 2.8 inches (7 cm)
10Tarantula HawkUp to 2 inches (5 cm)

Learn More: Top 10 Largest Beetles in the World

1. White Witch Moth

White Witch Moth (Thysania agrippina)
White Witch Moth (Thysania agrippina) | source:

The White Witch Moth is a nocturnal beauty with a wingspan reaching up to 12 inches (30 cm).

Found throughout the Americas, its pale, ghostly coloration makes it a mysterious presence in the night.

2. Atlas Moth

Female Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) in the Wilhelma, Stuttgart, Germany
Female Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) in the Wilhelma, Stuttgart, Germany | source:

Native to Southeast Asia, the Atlas moth boasts a wingspan that can measure an impressive 10-12 inches (25-30 cm).

With intricate patterns resembling maps and vibrant colors, it’s a sight to behold in the tropical forests where it resides.

3. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwings

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly
Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing Butterfly | source:

With a wingspan reaching up to 11 inches (28 cm), Queen Alexandra’s Birdwings are the epitome of grace and beauty in the butterfly world, found in Papua New Guinea.

4. Hercules Beetle

Hercules Beetle
Hercules Beetle | source:

Native to Central and South America, the Hercules Beetle can grow up to 7 inches (18 cm) in length, including its horn.

Males are easily recognizable by their large horns, used in battles for mates.

5. Titan Beetles

Titan Beetles
Titan Beetles | source: SIMON SHIM @

The formidable Titan beetle can grow up to 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) in length.

Inhabiting the rainforests of South America, this beetle is known for its sheer size and strength.

6. Tropidacris Grasshoppers

Tropidacris Grasshopper
Tropidacris Grasshopper | source:

Among the largest grasshoppers, Tropidacris Grasshoppers can measure up to 6 inches (15 cm) in length.

They are known for their strong flying abilities and vibrant colors.

7. Giant Water Bug

Giant Water Bug
Giant Water Bug | source:

The aquatic Giant Water Bug can grow to lengths around 4.75 inches (12 cm).

Found in freshwater bodies worldwide, they are ambush predators with a strong bite.

8. Goliath Beetles

Goliath Beetle
Goliath Beetle | source:

Among the heaviest insects on Earth, Goliath beetles can measure up to 4.3 inches (11 cm) in length.

Native to Africa’s tropical forests, they showcase a range of colors and patterns.

9. Mydas Fly

Mydas Fly
Mydas Fly | source:

The Mydas Fly is an intriguing insect, with some species reaching a length of 2.8 inches (7 cm).

They often mimic the appearance of more dangerous insects to deter predators.

10. Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk
Tarantula Hawk | source:

The vibrant Tarantula Hawk can have a wingspan of up to 2 inches (5 cm).

Found across various parts of the world, this wasp is known for its fearless hunting of tarantulas.

Learn More: Top 10 Largest Beetles in the World


From the dense rainforests of South America to the freshwater bodies across continents, these flying giants showcase insects’ incredible diversity and adaptability.

Their impressive sizes, unique features, and behaviors make them subjects of fascination and study, reminding us of the wonders of the natural world.


Which is the largest flying insect by wingspan?

White Witch Moth (Thysania agrippina)

The White Witch Moth holds the record with a wingspan of up to 12 inches (30 cm).

Are all these large insects dangerous to humans?

Female Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) in the Wilhelma, Stuttgart, Germany

No, most of these insects are harmless to humans. However, the Tarantula Hawk, for instance, has a painful sting but is not aggressive unless provoked.

Where can I find the Atlas Moth?

Female Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) in the Wilhelma, Stuttgart, Germany

The Atlas Moth is native to the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia.

What do these large insects typically eat?

Tropidacris Grasshopper

Diet varies. For example, the Atlas Moth doesn’t eat as an adult, while the Titan Beetle feeds on sap and fruit.

Are Goliath Beetles the heaviest insects?

Goliath Beetle

Yes, Goliath Beetles are among the heaviest insects on Earth, with some specimens weighing up to 100 grams.

Why is the Tarantula Hawk named so?

Tarantula Hawk

It’s named for its hunting behavior, where it hunts tarantulas to lay its eggs on them after paralyzing them with its sting.

How long do these insects typically live?

Giant Water Bug

Lifespan varies. For instance, the adult Atlas Moth lives for about a week, while some beetles can live for several months to a year.

Are these insects endangered?

White Witch Moth (Thysania agrippina)

Some, like the Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing butterfly, face threats due to habitat loss and are considered endangered.

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