Weta | Facts & Information

# Weta | Facts & Information

Weta | Discover Fascinating Facts and Information About Weta

The giant insect Weta belongs to the family anostostomatidae. It is endemic to New Zealand. It is said to be one of the island's examples of gigantism.


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The introduction of mammals on the island, such as the rat (rattus rattus) leads to a decrease in the number of specimens that are vulnerable due to the strong smell.

This movement could lead to the decline or even extinction of the species.

A number of programs have been carried out to reintroduce the insect into various habitats and restore an environment similar to the original one.

Weta Food

It forages at ground level among rocks and bushes looking for its favourite food, Tauhinu flowers (a New Zealand Flower).

In the native Maori language, wetaponga, as the giant insect is called, translates as "God of ugliness", a designation that leaves no room for doubt about the appearance of the unusual Locust.

Unchanged in the last 100 million years, the vegetarian insect is also called the dinosaur of the insect world, its dimensions reminiscent, without a doubt, of the giant dinosaurs.

Weta Features

Ordinary insects that are considered large have a length of 10 cm without antennae or legs and a weight of 35 grams. The largest of the giant insect species weta belongs to the genus Deinacrida which translates to Greek: fierce Grasshopper (fierce grasshopper).

In the past they could also be found in the islands adjacent to New Zealand, but due to the pesticides used they have disappeared. One specimen was seen in Macedonia.

One or all species of giant insect weta is nocturnal. It hides during the day among grass on the ground surface among dead leaves, stones or in bushes.

The body is strong and ends with a casing at the outside. The jaws are large, and the hind legs, which have 5-6 large spines, can be raised for defense above the head. The female is significantly larger than the male.

The insect has a number of predators from both New Zealand and adjacent islands. Among them are several species of birds and reptiles such as the tuatara.

Deinacrida carinata, Herekopare weta

Deinacrida connectens, Scree weta

Deinacrida elegans, Bluff weta

Deinacrida fallai, Poor Knights giant weta

Deinacrida heteracantha, Little Barrier Island giant weta

Deinacrida mahoenui, Mahoenui giant weta

Deinacrida parva, Kaikoura giant weta

Deinacrida pluvialis, Mt Cook giant weta

Deinacrida rugosa, Cook Strait giant weta

Deinacrida talpa, Giant mole weta

Deinacrida tibiospina, Mt Arthur giant weta

(Giant weta, Tree Weta, Tusked weta, Ground weta, cave Weta)

Breeding Weta

Due to the solitary and nomadic lifestyle the reproduction of the giant giant insect is based on the fact that the male locates the female.

The search is facilitated by the strong odor emanating from the female's body and feces. Males can travel 250m in a night in search of half.

Once the female is located, the male makes physical contact by putting a foot on her body until she finds a refuge.

Mating takes place throughout the day, and if the weather is cold and humid and throughout the night. The female lays about 200 eggs in the ground and then dies.

Eggs develop for several months and hatch in the spring. It takes more than two years and days for the insect to reach full adult size.

In 12-18 months, about nine moults occur.

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Weta | Facts & InformationWeta | Discover Fascinating Facts and Information About Weta