Alun Davies had several pairs of Chlorogomphus papilio in his collection. He said that it was difficult to get A1 specimens although most of his seemed pretty much A1 to me. He got all his from a secret Chinese contact.
I tried to get him to sell me one female and he refused, he was a true collector. He died three years after I visited him in Cambridge, his son wasn't interested in the collection so it was bequethed to Cambridge University.
The biggest cranefly in the UK, Tipula maxima, is similar in size to your Aussie one. I caught one female this summer, they live in marshy areas. I saw a couple more but didn't try to collect them as there were people around and they sometimes get funny when they see someone collecting.
Last Edit: Nov 27, 2011 4:20:24 GMT -8 by johnnyboy
Post by lucanidae25 on Nov 27, 2011 13:57:32 GMT -8
Do you know if this female Holorusia sp from Guangdong China is the world largest cranefly? The males carry their fertilizated eggs underneath their abdomens and they do get much bigger but it was hard to find them in perfect conditions. I can't find it's name. Thanks
Yes, I think that you may well have the biggest known species there, it looks like the right locality, and wing colour so it could be a specimen of Holorusia brobdignagius , the largest cranefly in existence.
Great specimen to have. I think that they do grow even bigger than your specimen, maybe there is a marked sexual size dimorphism as I've seen a really huge one during a "behind the scenes" visit to the NHM London many years ago.
Post by lucanidae25 on Nov 28, 2011 15:36:40 GMT -8
Thanks Johnny, I've also found these gaint harvestmen in the same area in Guangdong. Do you know if this is the world largest harvestmen? I've also found them in Tam Dao Vietnam and I think they are the same sp. I've seen them even bigger than this one and I've haven't seen harvestmen this big before. Do you know the name of this giant harvestmen sp 170mm legspan? I've seen them around 200mm legspan.
The European Trogulus torosus (Trogulidae) is the largest known species can reach a length of 22 mm. However, leg span is much larger and can exceed 160 mm (over 6").
Post by lucanidae25 on Nov 28, 2011 16:21:06 GMT -8
I've also found this giant Chilopoda in Guangdong and I've never seen a bigger house centipedes than this sp. They also get much much bigger than the one I caught but they all have missing legs. Is this the world largest Chilopoda? Thanks
I don't know the giant harvestman species you describe, I'm not so clued up on non-insect invertebrates.
With regard to the largest chilopoda species, in terms of the long legged scutigera, or house centipedes, the one you have is certainly very big although I do not know the largest scutigera species.
The biggest centipedes in existence are of course the Scolopendra species. The biggest I have seen, and the biggest specimen held by the NHM in London, is a huge fat Scolopendra gigas from the West Indies (my 10 year old son Patrick was given a private viewing of the museum's giant arachnids and myriapods this summer and I went along too). The maximum body width is around 40mm and the specimen was probably close to 12" in length, incredibly chunky and has to be seen to be believed!
There are other centipedes that grow as long, or longer, but are nowhere near as fat. Some of the Asian Scolopendra reach pretty big dimensions too. There was also a newly discovered bat-catching centipede in Mexico, shown last year on a David Attenborough documentary. It was obviously very big although they didn't give the dimensions.
Post by lucanidae25 on Nov 29, 2011 5:04:14 GMT -8
I did a search online and found this Scolopendra galapagoensis (Galapagos giant centipede) the largest is 30-40cm 44-46cm long Habibat deployment: the Galapagos Islands Santa Cruz Island, in the coastal regions of Ecuador.
There are probably three or four species that vie for the title of biggest centipede. The Neotropics seems to be the region where the real giants occur.
I kept an 8" long African blue-legged centipede as a pet in the late 1970's. I had it a couple of years and I used to feed it crickets. I didn't like the fact that I couldn't handle it with bare hands.
Nice female ! Your specimen isn't Pepsis heros. P. heros has all black antennae and quite broad black margins to the wings. The dark edges on the leading edge of the forewings is unusual and might indicate a possible species. Where is it from? That might help to narrow it down. The antennae colour is an important diagnostic feature. Wing colour can be very variable, I have two colour forms of P. heros, the normal reddish wing and a chocolate coloured wing female. Bodylength is useful although it is possible to stretch the abdominal segments quite considerably, you can make a 55mm specimen 70mm long that way.
There are several Pepsis species that reach 100mm or more in wingspan and over 50mm in bodylength, including ; P. heros, P. hyperion, P. apicata, P. albocincta, P. pluto, P. optima and P. pulszkyi you mentioned.
P. pulszkyi is quite rare, your specimen is most likely to be something else, I shall study your picture and see if I can narrow it down.
P. hyperion is actually the biggest species on average (according to Colin Vardy, the acknowledged world authority on Pepsis. He actually ID'd most of my specimens for me.
P. heros does have the biggest known females though.
My biggest P. heros has a 115mm wingspan.
Last Edit: Nov 30, 2011 2:45:47 GMT -8 by johnnyboy
From the locality, antennae, wing colour, head size, and overall body size, looking carefully at my Vardy Pepsis guides, I am prepared to say your specimen is very likely to be Pepsis toppini. ( antennae become diffuse orange at AS3, seems to match your photo) It is only found on the Eastern watershed of the Ecuadorean and Peruvian Andes, Huanuco lies precisely there, on the eastern watershed at an average elevation of around 1700m. P. toppini is a high altitude species only found above 700 metres, however it is reasonably common where it occurs.
P. toppini is a giant species, female bodylength up to 57mm.
Last Edit: Nov 30, 2011 16:23:59 GMT -8 by johnnyboy
That's a nice Chilopod you have there ! Did you find it in a cave ? Giant Asian species like Scutigera decipiens often live in caves. Borneo's Gomantong Cave is home to a very large and supposedly dangerous species of Scutigera. According to locals, they can grow to the size of a small dog (!!!) and deliver a very noxious bite which can drive you to the hospital or even kill you. This seems a little far-fetched, still the photos of the cave and its inhabitants can be seen on Rebecca Yale's website.
Hello all. I have been trying like mad to get my hands on some specimens of the larger flies, including any of these species. Anyone out there want to sell/ trade? I am exceedingly fascinated with all things Dipteran. Every time I am in Central America I miss that catch... fast as heck! Or just the wrong time of year maybe. Thanks all.
Giant timber flies are quite common where they occur but have a short lifespan and are relatively difficult to catch.
They are offered very occasionally, however, as there aren't that many fly collectors most dealers don't advertise them. I caught mine myself in Ecuador about twenty years ago.
As for the other giant fly species, especially Australian ones, they are very rarely available, for similar reasons. I know of a Blepharotes sp.offered recently, for over $1000 for one fly! Some Japanese and German collectors will pay this kind of money.