Flying Insect Size
Is there such a thing as a lightning bug that
is 5-6 inches long?
No, the largest North American lightning bugs are only about an
inch long, many are smaller. The largest of any North American
insects I know of are some moths with wingspans of 5" or so,
but body length considerably less, and some darner dragonflies
that may be around 4" long.
Flying insects have an issue with size because they sport an
exoskeleton. Having your skeleton on the outside increases the
body weight dramatically with an increase of size. Some existing
large flying insects actually have small bodies and huge wings to
be able to fly and are clumsy at best in flight as a result.
Lightning bugs can not grow very big for the same reasons.
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Update: June 2012