By Malcolm Holland, The Daily Telegraph
Contender for the world's heaviest insect, Heathcliffe, the giant burrowing cockroach. Picture: Cameron Richardson
MEET Heathcliffe, the giant burrowing cockroach and contender for the title of world's heaviest insect.
And before you go "Ewwww yuck, a cockie", Heathcliffe and his kind are not your average dirty, imported roaches, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Australia's giants give birth to live young, look after them in a burrow, make "great pets" and dine on leaves.
"Native to western NSW and north Queensland, they can reach 30 to 35g and more than 85mm in length," Sydney University senior biology lecturer Nathan Lo said yesterday.
"They are the world's heaviest cockroach and if not the heaviest of all insects, they are certainly a contender.
"They are different to other insects in a lot of ways and are totally unrelated to the American or German cockroaches found in Australian households.
"Giants can live up to eight years, which is pretty amazing for an insect."
Dr Lo said they were popular pets - Heathcliffe is owned by a university media manager - and can fetch $100 a pair.
Heathcliffe will be on display this weekend at the university's annual open day and visitors are invited to guess his weight.
Click to view image: '0d71b4f52a40-heathcliffe.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|