This week, a scientist in China made news across the internet for claiming to have caught the world’s biggest mosquito with a wingspan of over 10 inches. At first the news gave us nightmares about massive mosquitoes snuffing out our citronella candles with their giant wings (or was that just me?) – but it turns out that the insect Zhoa Li caught isn’t the bloodsucking kind, but a massive crane fly instead.

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A giant mosquito with a wing span of 11.15 centimeters is shown at the Insect Museum of West China in Chengdu, capital…

Posted by China Xinhua News on Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Zhoa Li is famous for discovering the longest insect in the world – a two-foot-long megastick insect. Now he has identified a massive insect in China’s Sichuan province and declared it to be the largest mosquito ever. The specimen Li located could possibly the largest of its type on record, but it isn’t a mosquito. The insect’s scientific name is Holorusia mikado, it originated in Japan and it’s known to be the largest crane fly species in the world. The confusion seems to have arisen because some cultures refer to crane flies as “big mosquitoes.”

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Both the mosquito and the crane fly belong to the Nematocera suborder of flies, but from there the insects differ. The insect Li discovered belongs to the crane fly family (Tipulidae). “Different countries have different ways to call and define insects, but from a biological perspective, Holorusia mikado are categorized as mosquitoes,” Li told the Daily Mail. We beg to differ – any “mosquito” that doesn’t draw blood to survive isn’t going to keep us up at night. And entomologists agree.

Image via Wikimedia