Big Bugs Life-size

George Beccaloni

Big Bugs Life-size is the first book to feature life-size photographs of all the world’s largest and most spectacular bugs.

978 0 565 09213 9
May 2010
280 x 216 mm
84 pp, with a two-page fold-out
Colour throughout
Natural History Museum


Did you know that the world’s largest millipede is the length of a string of spaghetti? Or that the longest beetle on the planet can break a pencil with its powerful jaws? Enter a world of winged wonders, enormous earwigs and super-sized scorpions with Big Bugs Life-size.

From the heaviest cockroach to the spider with the longest legs, Museum insect expert George Beccaloni describes all the essential facts about 35 mega minibeasts, including where they live, what they eat and where they’re found. Discover the record-breaking stick insect which is almost as long as your arm, a cockroach with the wingspan of a cereal bowl and come face to face with a fly as big as your eye.

These giant creepy crawlies are some of the most magnificent creatures on the planet and often have interesting stories associated with them. How do war-like termite soldiers defend a nest without having eyes or wings? What does the goliath bird-eating spider actually feed on? 

Stunningly illustrated throughout, including a special fold-out spread of the world’s longest insect, Big Bugs Life-size gives readers an accurate idea of just how huge these creatures really are.

See inside

Look inside this book to get an idea of its content.

Pages from Big Bugs Life-size

Pages from Big Bugs Life-size

Pages from Big Bugs Life-size

Pages from Big Bugs Life-size

Pages from Big Bugs Life-size

Pages from Big Bugs Life-size

Pages from Big Bugs Life-size

A special fold-out spread of the world's longest insect from Big Bugs Life-size


Find out what others think of this book.

"Marvellous book"

Sunday Express

"For readers of eight years old and up this will be an eye-opening and jaw-dropping occasion to see, for instance the world's longest insect...There are creatures never illustrated before, such as the giant West African antlion and the Fruhstorfer's giant dobsonfly...These invertebrates are usually shown in the book as a double-page spread with a photograph of the beast itself, interesting parts, a map of the world showing where it is found, vital statistics and lots of notes about what is currently known about them. An excellent book, very highly recommended..."

School Librarian

"This will be an entertaining book for those with an interest in giant creatures, and hopefully will encourage the faint hearted to learn more."

Newsletter of the Phasmid Study Group

"I have to admit that I have just been very impressed by a stick insect. No, not Victoria Beckham, though she is impressive. This is Chan’s Megastick and it needs a three page fold-out in George Beccaloni’s brilliant new book…This well produced book will be grabbed by young enthusiasts and treated with respect by adults and children alike."

Carousel: The Guide to Children’s Books

"This is an excellent book to get children (and adults) interested in ‘bugs’ and I can strongly recommend it. The book is very well illustrated and its production is excellent."

Dragonfly News: magazine of the Dragonfly Society

"Big Bugs Life-size is a wonderful addition to our armoury in this battle for the hearts and minds of future entomologists. This is a book with instant impact…This is a book that will inspire and enthuse the next generation, but it will also delight and inform even battle-scarred entomologists."

Antenna: Bulletin of the Entomological Society

"If you think you’re not afraid of bugs, how would you feel about a millipede as long as a strand of spaghetti? Or a beetle that can snap a pencil in two?...This book has life-size pictures of the world’s most enormous beetles, bees, crickets and cockroaches."

The Washington Post


George Beccaloni started collecting and studying insects at the age of ten whilst he was living in Zimbabwe. During his PhD on South American butterflies, he spent almost a year doing fieldwork in the Ecuadorean rainforest where he encountered a lot of bugs, including a few of the giants featured in Big Bugs Life-size. 

George has worked in the Natural History Museum’s Entomology Department since 1996 and as Curator of Orthopteroid Insects (grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches, stick insects and their relatives) since 2003. He is the author of many popular and scientific articles, as well as four other books.

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