- « "This monster is a highly adapted predator, which has evolved from carnivorous beetles, such as the tiger beetle. It grows to around six foot tall, and uses large compound eyes to detect prey in future jungles. When it has found suitable prey, it will use the large mantis like legs to catch birds or other giant insects, whilst the razor sharp jaws make short work of the meal. This monster is also a very fast runner, and uses its speed to hunt prey over large distances, although it can only use its wings to fly short distances." »
- — Description
The Megopteran is a giant insectoid creature from the Future, derived from Hymenoptera. It was created by Carim Nahaboo, aged 16, in the Create Your Own Creature Competition held by ITV for designing a new Primeval creature, and Carim's Megopteran design won the competition.
The Megopteran is part of the Hymenoptera family, and possesses six strong legs, a long arched neck, and medium sized wings (allowing flight over short distances). They appear to communicate in a series of loud hollow clicking sounds, and like modern day insects, they, like most insects, apparently don't like smoke.
Lacking antennae, Megopterans use their large compound eyes to detect prey. When a Megopteran has found a suitable victim, it will use its large mantis-like forelegs to catch it, whilst the mandibles make short work of the meal (as shown, it killed a full-grown man in seconds). Its long legs make it a fast runner, and it apparently prefers to hunt at ground level, but will sometimes fly after prey. Megopterans are also shown to be quite strong, as a baby was shown to be able to crack a window by slamming into it without injury.
Although evolved from hive-based insects, the Megopterans do not seem to live in the same large colonies, and haven't to show any distinct castes; although three distinct sizes have been seen, they all exhibit similar characteristics. The youngest Megopterans are the smallest at only about the size of a rat; the man-sized versions are the most commonly encountered Megopterans, and are about seven feet tall and two - four metres long; the largest versions are twice the size of the man-sized versions, and only one or two have been encountered. It is unknown if these variations are the result of age, caste differences or sexual dimorphism.
The Megopteran appears to be one of the apex predators of the ecosystems of the future, the other being the Future Predator.
According to Abby Maitland, the Megopteran has an ovipositor evolved from its Hymenopteran ancestors, which it uses to lay eggs inside a host. Once eggs have been laid under a killed victim's flesh, they will rapidly develop and a rat-sized Megopteran hatchling will emerge from the corpse within around twelve hours. (Episode 3.8)
According to samples, the Megopteran goes through a pupal stage. It is also stated that the Future Maggots are the same species as the Megopteran, as, in the sketchbook, they are in the factfile about the Megopteran, and are also labelled 'Megopteran Larvae'. (Primeval Evolved)
It was also stated by another source that the Future Maggot is the larval state of the Megopteran. (Genesis of a Creature) However, a hatchling Megopteran seen was not a maggot, but a smaller version of the adult. (Episode 3.8)
Sometime after the Future Predators were apparently created and wiped out Humanity, the Megopterans thrived in ruined human cities and competed with the Future Predators. They were, according to Abby Maitland, derived from Hymenoptera such as ants, bees or wasps. (Episode 3.8)
Two Megopterans came through an Anomaly into a Race Circuit in the Present. The ARC team arrived and one of the Megopterans attacked Danny Quinn. It followed him out onto the race track, where it was run over and killed by a passing sportscar. The remaining Megopteran was effectively marooned in the Present when the ARC locked the Anomaly; and the following night, it killed two ARC guards left at the Anomaly site, and laid eggs inside their corpses.
The next day, the Megopteran's young hatched shortly after Jack Maitland arrived at the race circuit. The parent Megopteran then attacked Jack and trapped him in a sportscar. He escaped through the unlocked Anomaly into the Future, the car ripping off one of the Megopteran's limbs in the process. It is unknown what happened to the Megopteran adult afterwards, but it most likely returned through the Anomaly. At the race circuit, while Sarah Page was left to guard the Anomaly, the Megopteran hatchling attacked Sarah until she trapped it in a metal box.
Meanwhile, in the Future, a large Megopteran attacked Jack and Danny in an old bunker, and Danny used an explosive to try and kill it. The smoke from the explosion subsequently forced several other Megopterans out of the bunker and into a street outside, where they came across and fought with several Future Predators. After the ARC team returned through the Anomaly, Sarah threw the metal box containing the Megopteran hatchling back through the Anomaly, then locked it before any of the Megopterans on the other side could come through.
Whilst searching for Helen Cutter in the Future, Danny, Abby and Connor were attacked by three Megopterans in the Future City. They were able to escape the Megopterans by tricking them into going through Christine Johnson's Anomaly to her HQ in the Present.
At the HQ, Hilary Becker and Sarah were attacked by one Megopteran, but Becker was able to injure it and lock it in a large room. The other two Megopterans then attacked and chased the two through the HQ, until the creatures cornered them in a mesh wire compartment. The Megopterans then began chewing through the mesh to try and get to Sarah and Becker, until the two electrocuted and killed the creatures by touching the mesh with electrical wires.You fought with it, but ended up stranded in the Future.
Becker and his men fought against Megopterans in the mission to find Connor, Abby and Danny in the Future.
- The Megopteran is the only known future animal with a scientific name. Although the team never calls it by this name.
- It has never been stated whether the Megopterans were created by Humanity like the Future Predators, or if they evolved naturally. However, the Future City's intact state would suggest that the Megopterans' home time is only a few centuries in the future. Some fans, have suggested the Megopteran evolved much later in the timeline and had traveled back to the future City via an Anomaly.
- For arthropods to reach such size, the oxygen levels in the Megopteran's home time would have to be much higher than in the present day. However they have been shown to be able to live in modern times, suggesting that the Megoptorans had evolved some sort of advance respiratory system comparable to mammals or birds
- In Episode 3.8 it is stated that the Megopteran is a descendent of wasps and ants, although the website and several other sources state that it is a beetle or possibly even a praying mantis.
- The Future Maggots that Jack and Danny encounter in the bunker are stated to be Megopteran larvae, but the hatchling Megopteran that attacked Sarah in the Present was a smaller version of the adult.
- The Megopteran was changed a great amount from its original concept art contest entry, removing a stinger, having larger wings, a smoother surface exoskeleton, legs facing different directions, red eyes, a tail, a longer neck, smaller sleeker body, larger anntenae (on a different spot), and the mouthparts have been altered.
- As Abby said in Episode 3.8, Megopterans' bodies contain a large amount of selenium. This is likely due to exposure to a selenium-filled environment, as the Future City was apparently rich in selenium.
This is a small selection of images from the massive gallery page for Megopteran. To the full collection of images, see here!