Insects are one of the most diverse creatures in the world. With more than millions of species, they bring in multiple features, each characteristic of every species. While some exhibit a show of colors, others excel in durability and strength. In this article, we are going to talk about the Top 15 Strongest Insects in the world (Most Powerful Insects 2023). So, without further delay, let’s get things rolling.
Top 15 Strongest Insects in the World
Though not physically strong like the other insects on this list, the Cockroach has been given the 15th position due to its toughness. Cockroaches are one of the world’s most resilient insects.
Some species can not only survive on limited resources like glue behind a stamp but can also stay active without food for a month. They are radiation resistant and may even evade a nuclear strike.
Their radiation resistance is close to 15 times greater than that of humans. Cockroaches can survive decapitation and can live without its head for as long as seven days.
- Size- Varying (one of the largest cockroach species- Blaberus giganteus)
- Order- Blattodea
- Location- Worldwide, from forests to homes
14) Trap Jaw Ants
The following insect is the Trap Jaw Ant. Undoubtedly one of the largest genera of ants in the world, the Trap Jaw ants are characterized by their large mandibles.
These jaws are immensely strong and can snap their prey with speeds of 126-230 km/h, the fastest in the entire animal kingdom.
Such strong jaws make these ants one of the most powerful insects in the world. Adults follow an omnivorous diet, while larvae are primarily carnivorous.
- Size- 11-14 millimeter (0.43-0.55 inches)
- Genus- Odontomachus
- Location- Worldwide (tropics and subtropics)
13) Japanese Giant Hornets
In the 13th position in this list of Strongest Insects in the world, we have the largest hornet species, the Japanese Giant Hornets. Regardless of gender, the hornet has a light orange head and brown antennae with an orange-yellow base. It has dark brown to black eyes and ocelli.
The queens are much bigger than the workers. Workers are approximately 35 and 40 mm, while queens can reach 50 mm (2 in) (1.2-1.6 in). These hornets can deliver an excruciating and potent sting loaded with neurotoxins with a 6 mm stinger.
- Size- 45 millimeter (body length)
- Scientific name- Vespa mandarinia
- Location- East Asia, South, and Southeast Asia
12) Common American Field Ant
Next up on our list of Strongest Insects in the world, we have the American Field Ants. In fields, parks, gardens, and lawns, these ants frequently construct underground nests.
Depending on the species, coloration can range from pale yellowish to reddish brown to black or a combination of those colors.
The neck joint of a typical American field ant can resist pressures up to 5,000 times the ant’s weight, according to a study published in the Journal of Biomechanics.
- Size- 4-8 millimeter
- Genus- Formica
- Location- Worldwide
11) Bulldog Ant
Bulldog ants have enormous mandibles, large compound eyes that give exceptional eyesight, and a strong sting that they utilize to kill prey.
Adults are nectarivores, ingesting nectar, honeydew, and other sweet things. They also hunt other ants and invertebrates.
With a score of 4 on the Schmidt’s Pain Index, their poisonous sting is one of the deadliest and most painful ones in the world, making them one of the most powerful insects.
- Size- 8-40 millimeter (0.31-1.57 inches)
- Genus- Myrmecia
- Location- Australia
10) Tarantula Hawk
Tarantula Wasps are among the largest wasps and feature brilliant, rust-colored wings with a blue-black body. Their tendency to obliterate tarantulas, which are frequently much larger than themselves, earns them the name.
Females hunt, whereas mature males primarily consume nectar. The female tarantula hawk wasp paralyzes its prey with a sting (one of the deadliest stings in the animal world) between the legs before dragging it to a specially constructed burrow.
- Size- 2 inches (5 centimeters)
- Genus- Pepsis & Hemipepsi
- Location- Worldwide
9) Amazonian Giant Ants
The Giant Amazonian Ants are the largest ant species in the world. The workers typically travel 33 feet away from the nest, and the objects they bring back typically weigh between 10 and 400 milligrams.
This is the best illustration of how ants lift heavy objects.These animals primarily consume fruit, although they feed on spiders, crickets, and snails.
The venom of these insects is among the strongest in the animal kingdom. Its sting may cause excruciating pain that lasts up to eight hours, causing nausea, cold sweats, etc.
- Size- 1.2-1.6 inches
- Scientific name- Dinoponera gigantea
- Location- South American rainforests
8) Praying Mantis
Though they have been divided into nearly 2,400 species across 430 genera, generally, all mantises have common anatomy. Mantises are characterized by their large triangular heads, with bulbous eyes protruding out. They have five eyes, two compounds, and three simple ones.
Mantises are known for their spiked forelegs that consistently stay up in the praying position. They use these forelegs like a trap to hold their prey securely as they slowly nibble their bodies.
- Size- 1-6 inches
- Order- Mantodea
- Location- Temperate and tropical habitats worldwide
7) Sabertooth Longhorn Beetle
One of the longest insects in the world is the sabertooth longhorn beetle (Macrodontia cervicornis). The larval stage, which can last up to 10 years, is where this species spends most of its time.
Their body is dark and tan, which enhances their ability to blend in with their environment. This species can be recognized by its huge mandibles, which are key characteristics.
With such large jaws and bodies, the Sabertooth beetle is undoubtedly one of the strongest insects in the world.
- Size- 17.5 centimeters (including jaws)
- Scientific name- Macrodontia cervicornis
- Location- South American Rainforests
6) Goliath Beetle
Next up on our list of Strongest Insects in the world we have the Goliath Beetle. If size and weight are taken into consideration, goliath beetles rank among the biggest insects on Earth. They have the potential to attain lengths of up to 9.8 in and weights of more than 100 grams.
The males often attain brown, black, and white colorations, while the females range from chestnut brown to silky white. They mostly eat fruit and tree sap.
- Size- 50–110 millimeters (2.0–4.3 inches)
- Scientific name- Goliathus sp.
- Location- Tropical Forests of Africa
5) Rhinoceros Beetle
The rhinoceros beetle is another large insect that gets its name from a massive projection on the males’ cheeks that looks like a rhinoceros horn. The world’s strongest animal, rhinoceros beetles, can lift hundreds of times their weight.
Herbivorous rhinoceros beetles eat plants. Adults use fruit, nectar, and sap as food. Larvae consume decomposing plant debris. Even the Hercules Beetle, which stands at the 2nd position in this list, is also a species of Rhinoceros Beetle.
- Size- 6 inches
- Subfamily- Dynastinae
- Location- Worldwide
4) Diabolical Ironclad Beetle
The Diabolical Ironclad Beetle is no less than an armored tank. Now, what makes it so strong? Well, the structure of the exoskeleton makes them extremely durable. This suture has an interlocking pattern that resembles a jigsaw puzzle.
Proteins provide additional reinforcement for these sutures, adding another level of durability. Ironclad beetles can readily withstand being run over by a car with up to 100 N of force.
- Size- 0.6-1 inch
- Scientific name-Nosoderma diabolicum
- Location- Desert areas of Western North America
3) Archegozetes longisetosus
You might wonder why we have placed such a tiny insect against some of the world’s largest insects. Well, let me tell you, this species is immensely strong in proportion to its minuscule size.
Mites can pull with 530 times their weight on rough vertical surfaces and can produce holding forces up to 1180 times their weight on uneven horizontal surfaces.
- Size- 1 millimeter
- Scientific name- Archegozetes longisetosus
- Location- Mosses
2) Hercules Beetle
In the second position, we have the largest flying insect in the world, the Hercules Beetle. Deriving its name from the God known for his strength, Hercules, this beetle species can lift 850 times its body weight.
With the horn included, their body size may reach up to 7 in, which makes them the longest beetle species in the world.
A characteristic feature of male Hercules beetles, the horns are primarily used in combat against other males during mating. Adults primarily feed on fruits like apples, grapes, peaches, etc.
- Size- 50-85 millimeter (2- 3.3 inches)
- Scientific name- Dynastes hercules
- Location- South America
1) Horned Dung Beetle
These tiny beetles have an oval form and are typically black or reddish brown. According to the body weight to lift ratio, the Onthophagus taurus is the strongest animal on Earth and can lift 1141 times its weight; and is, therefore, the strongest insect in the world.
Dung beetles play a crucial role in both tropical forests and agriculture both. They enhance soil quality and nutrient recycling by burying and eating manure. Horned Dung Beetles help keep pests away and are crucial for the transmission of seeds found in animal manure.
- Size- 5.5-11 millimeter (0.24-0.44 inches)
- Scientific name- Onthophagus taurus
- Location- Central Asia, Australia, Texas (USA)
Here, we come to the end of our article on the Top 15 Strongest Insects in the world (Most Powerful Insects 2022). We will be returning soon with many more write-ups on several niches, so stay tuned until then.
A zoology student turned writer. Nature has always been a magnet to me, and to unearth some of its secrets through my articles is my prime intention. If not engaging myself with nature and anime content, you can always find me going through some Bengali classics or filling the air with some soulful Tabla beats. An artist, trying to throw some colors to my blank canvas of life.