The news that the world's largest mosquito has been discovered in China is not as scary as it sounds. In fact, it is partially false and is due to a translation error and the desire we have for a plague of giant mosquitoes to end humanity once and for all.
The news from the XinhuaNet agency entitled 'Super-sized mosquito found in southwest China' (in the English version: 'Wow! Super-sized mosquito found in SW China's Sichuan') has gone viral and the various versions translated or adapted in many other media have produced much more resounding statements, such as: The world's largest mosquito is discovered in China.
As told by the news agencyXinhua, a group of Chinese entomologists has found a "giant mosquito" with 11.15-centimeter wings during a hike up Mount Qingcheng, near the city of Chengdu, capital of the south-western province of Sichuan.
Although it is a particularly large specimen, the insect found in China belongs to the speciesHolorusia mikadoand it is a typical one, not a mosquito proper. Unlike the real mosquitoes, which belong to the culícidos family, the typical mosquitoes are a family in themselves (the tipulids) and do not bite or suck blood: they are harmless to humans and some even prey on mosquitoes, so they are not to be feared.
“They look hideous, but they don't feed on blood. Adults usually live for a few days and generally eat nectar, ”Zhao explained to the agency.Xinhua, and clarified that only a few hundred of the tens of thousands of insects on the planet have vampiric habits.
HeHolorusia mikadoIt was discovered in Japan and first described in 1876 by the British entomologist John Obadiah Westwood. It lives in mountainous areas below 2,200 meters and feeds on nectar. Its wings can measure eight centimeters, but the specimen found in China measures 11.15 wide by 5 long. Due to its size, this typical or "crane fly" has a weak flight, which is more like a clumsy and slow jump.
Now the bug - misnamed "giant mosquito" - will become part of the West China Insect Museum, which houses more than 700,000 specimens of insects, of which 70 are the largest of their species.
The world’s largest mosquito? #Chinese entomologists in Chengdu, capital of southwest # China's Sichuan Province, have announced the discovery of a giant mosquito with a wingspan of 11.15 centimeters. pic.twitter.com/5IgnyybUck
- CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) April 24, 2018
With information from: