The Missouri Department of Conservation has been very excited for the last three weeks, to say the least. This is due in part to the fact that they think they have encountered one of the longest insects in North America, one of prehistoric proportions that even make the Biblical character of Goliath impressed. This behemoth walkingstick was found by amateur entomologist Jimmy Sexton at his home in Neosho.
MDC was ready to note that the average length for females is a little over seven inches long. The one that was found by Jimmy Sexton is a male and it tipped the measuring line at a stunning 9.5 inches.
MDC began showing a picture of this Andre the Giant walkingstick when it was hanging off some windchimes. The picture was posted by MDC Forest Entomologist Robbie Doerhoff, and he said that if they had been keeping track of records for the walkingstick insect, than this one would possibly be getting the trophy.
MDC is telling interested observers that this giant walkingstick wouldn’t be that difficult to distinguish from the ordinary, Northern walkingstick insects that are common in Missouri.
“Males usually only have a spine on each hind leg. However, this particular example also has a spine on its middle leg as well. On a normal walkingstick, we will usually see colors from tan, to brown, to rusty brown, and to greenish as well. This is definitely a behemoth walkingstick for sure.”
If you are thinking about pulling up Jimmy Dean’s “Big John” on YouTube right now, trust me, you’re not the only one! Indeed, if there was a professional league comprised of walkingstick insects, this particular specimen would definitely make the cut. Like I said, this is truly an “Andre the Giant” or the Robert Wadlow of walkingstick insects. This bug is definitely a sight to behold!