Giant insect thought extinct in eastern US found in a Walmart

The giant lacewing found in Arkansas

The giant lacewing found in Arkansas

Michael Skvarla

For the first time in more than 50 years, a giant lacewing (Polystoechotes punctata) has been found in eastern North America. The discovery raises new questions about the distribution of the Jurassic-era insect that mysteriously vanished from the eastern seaboard decades ago.

The giant lacewing was once abundant across North America, but in the 1800s the insects’ eastern population began to plummet for unknown reasons – potentially due to the rise of urban development, invasive species and artificial light. Giant lacewings had never been documented …

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