Long-Nose PlaneBugs

Long-Nose PlaneBugs, rickzimmerman 2010
Long-Nose PlaneBugs, rickzimmerman 2010

One thing you can say for Long Nose PlaneBugs: they have really long noses. (Although in fact their extended paired antennae do create the illusion of a much longer nose.) The protruding proboscises of these perambulating PlaneBugs can reach almost six feet in length, while their wingspans (flaps extended) can exceed 19 feet.

These soaring swarming insects — gigantic relatives of the order Anisoptera: dragonflies — can present quite a hazard to commercial aviation as they hover in clouds over major cities. A single well-fed PlaneBug can knock out any of the largest jet aircraft engines. (And you thought starlings and geese were the only problems!) Equally problematic is the fierce buzz of a hovering PlaneBug; it becomes impossible to hear oneself think within 50 yards of those whizzing wings.

That’s why the FAA has struggled in recent years to restrict PlaneBugs to smaller commuter airports and rural airfields. Of course, farmers planting vast acreage in corn — the PlaneBugs’ ideal snack — are not too fond of seeing these rapacious arthropods on the horizon. But a compromise with outraged farmers may soon be reached: technicians have devised methods of equipping PlaneBugs with crop-dusting equipment, enabling these big bugs to eradicate a whole range of little bugs each time they come in for a landing.

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Comments 4 comments

CMCastro profile image

CMCastro 6 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

Again, I have read another piece! I like your hubs. I think I will be a follower.

rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Thanks again, CM. Happy to welcome you.

Sabafragen 6 years ago

The flaps look like fingers :-) Maybe these insects actually caresse the clouds while hovering over major cities?

rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

Sabina: It's cool you picked up on that. I actually started drawing these like fingers of a hand, then changed my mind part way through the drawing. These fingers (like mine) are somewhat spatulate, meaning they end in somewhat broad fingerpads (kind of like a gecko?)

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