There is an insect in New Zealand that grows nowhere else in the world

It is a sort of grasshopper type of insect that is unique to this area, and found no other place on earth.

The natives there have always called it the Weta, which means, in their native Maori, “The god of bad looks”.

This has to be one of the ugliest creatures alive and the name is quite appropriate.


They are large and unwieldy, slow moving and unsightly creatures.

They have also been here since the dawn of time.

These guys roamed the earth with dinosaurs, and have continued to evolve and to exist since that time.

Wetas can grow up to two inches long and weigh about 2 ounces. They can hop incredible lengths, or about two feet a time which is a vast amount given their excessive weight.

Wetas are nocturnal hunters, and leave their holes of burrows at night.

They sometimes live in caves, while many will live in trees.

For an insect the giant weta is a very long lived animal.

They are most closely related to the grasshopper, but also the cricket.

They are able to produce a high pitched noise known as stridulation, by rubbing their legs together or by rubbing a leg against their own abdomen.


The adult Wetas can live as long as two years.

The weta may sometimes interbreed with other types of weta, but when they do, they produce sterile offspring.

They live in groups, or small herds of insects, with one male and several females grouping together.

When the males are threatened they will hiss as a cockroach is said to do, but they may also bite.

They can inflict painful bites, which although not poisonous can produce infection.

Find out more about the Weta over at Wikipedia »


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