Photo-a-day retirement

By mpp26

Amazing find in the garden

My daughter has lots of New Zealand native plants in her garden, and apparently lots of New Zealand native insects. She didn't know she had wetas in the garden until today, but what an exciting find. So far 2 females and a male, so hopefully they will breed.

This weta is a Wellington tree weta, Hemideina crassidens
though there are up to 70 species, the biggest one being the giant weta which is one of the biggest insects on earth.

They are endemic to New Zealand, and of course endangered, by all the usual threats - rats, cats, habitat destruction etc. They have been the face of insect conservation in New Zealand.

Another fascinating weta is the alpine weta which can freeze solid in winter and thaw and carry on living when the spring comes.

They can bite and scratch but prefer to retreat if possible - their main defence is looking big and spiky.

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