Phobaeticus chani

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Phobaeticus chani
Phobaeticus chani Bragg, 2008; Paratype Male.jpg
Male paratype of Phobaeticus chani
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Phasmatodea
Family: Phasmatidae
Subfamily: Clitumninae
Tribe: Pharnaciini
Genus: Phobaeticus
Species: P. chani
Binomial name
Phobaeticus chani
Bragg, 2008

Phobaeticus chani or Chan's megastick is a species of stick insect. It is the longest insect in the world, with one specimen held in the Natural History Museum in London measuring 567 mm (22.3 in).[1] This measurement is, however, with the front legs fully extended. The body alone still measures an impressive 357 mm (14.1 in).[2]

Photograph of the female holotype

Named after amateur Malaysian naturalist, Datuk Chan Chew Lun,[2][3] only six specimens are known, all originating from the state of Sabah in Borneo.[2][4] Very little is known about its biology, but speculation in the popular press is that it may live in the canopy of the rainforest, making it especially hard to find;[4] however, there is no evidence to support this theory and the related Phobaeticus kirbyi is commonly found on low growing vegetation alongside rainforest paths.[2]

Phobaeticus chani was selected as one of "The Top 10 New Species" described in 2008 by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and an international committee of taxonomists.[5] The species was also listed as one of the top ten discoveries of the decade in the BBC television documentary Decade of Discovery, first broadcast on December 14, 2010.[6]

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