Side-by-Side Top-Bottom
Actual Image

Bad photo - but interesting (18)
Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
Shot in the dark!!

Now, I shot this blind. I was on a small train in the Waitakere Rangesand while going through one of the tunnells, we were told to look out for cave wetas. So when I heard someone say that they were up high – I took this photo. The original is in the Workshop. As you can see – I was lucky to get a shot of them at all.

It’s not a clear picture, but to me it is interesting – I have never seen Cave Wetas before, and to see them like this on the wall of the cave was very special for me.


Here’s what I found about Cave Wetas on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:


Weta

Weta are around 70 insect species endemic to the New Zealand archipelago.


They are large by insect standards, some species among the largest and heaviest in the world. Their physical appearance is that of a cross between a cockroach and a cricket with the addition of large legs. Their name (strictly, wētā) comes from a word in the Māori language, meaning "god of ugly things", but has been incorporated into New Zealand English, so the plural "wetas" is used.

New Zealand had no native land mammals apart from native bats before humans arrived. Ecological niches that were filled by mammals in other parts of the world were filled by native fauna in New Zealand. The weta’s place in the ecosystem is comparable to that held by mice and other rodents elsewhere in the world. For example, like their foreign mouse equivalents, they are hunted by an owl: in this case the Morepork, New Zealand’s only surviving native owl. Weta also pass seeds of some plant species through their digestive tracts unharmed, thus acting as seed dispersers. It is yet to be seen how decreases in weta populations are affecting native plant species that rely on the weta's help.

Cave weta
Gymnoplectron acanthocerum Milligan
Order : Orthoptera
Family: Rhaphidophoridae


The sixty species of cave weta have extra-long antennae, longer legs, a passive demeanour and deafness. Cave weta may be active within the confines of their caves during the daytime. They are classified as being in genera in Subfamily Ceuthophilinae of family Rhaphidophoridae, thus making them distant cousins of the other types of weta.

As I said, it’s NOT a good photo, but I hope you also find it interesting…

Check out how bad the original is – see the Workshop!!!

Altered Image #1

Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
Original photo
Edited by:Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)

As I said, it’s NOT a good photo, but I hope you find it interesting…

See the cave wetas, top left-hand corner - I was lucky to have captured them.

Large insects, length of body plus legs and antennae can be 350 mm

New Zealand native insects, found in caves and other dark places

Feed on plants, fungi amd sometimes other insects

Active at night

Harmless to humans - but very scary!!!