Tree Weta (30)
|I found this beautiful creature while I was sorting out wood for a treehouse today.|
Weta is a common New Zealand insect that usually lives in rotten logs in the forest.However it is often found in woodsheds amongst firewood.Wetas are nocturnal,only emerging after dark to eat leaves and small insects.
Most Weta belong to the family Anostostomatidae,although the long legged cave wetas all belong to the family Raphidophoridae.
The Giant Weta (Weta Punga),Deinacrida sp. can have a body the size of a fist and weigh up to 80 grams,whereas the long,thin-legged,Giant Cave Weta
can be up to 45 cm long,and able to jump several metres.
This Weta is a Tree Weta (Hemideina sp.)slightly larger than lifesize.She is a female,possibly carrying some eggs.The main predator of Wetas are rats,and this Weta seems to have scars of puncture marks that could well be rat bites,or perhaps bites from another Weta.
When threatened,the Weta will raise both back legs over its head,with spines pointing upwards in a defensive pose.To find a Weta looking like this is a fearsome sight,although,in reality these creatures are not generally aggressive.If treated carefully,they can be picked up,but are capable of a painful bite if mishandled.