Giant wetas are species of weta in the genus Deinacrida of the family Anostostomatidae. Giant wetas are endemic to New Zealand.
There are 11 species of giant weta, most of which are significantly larger than other weta, despite already being large by insect standards. They are heavy insects with a body length of up to 10 cm (4 in) not inclusive of its lengthy legs and antennae, and weigh more than 71 g (2.5 oz), making it one of the heaviest documented insects in the world and heavier than a sparrow. The largest species of giant weta is the Little Barrier Island giant weta also known as the wetapunga. Giant weta tend to be less social and more passive than other weta. Their genus name, Deinacrida, is Greek for terrible grasshopper. They are found primarily on New Zealand offshore islands, having been almost exterminated on the mainland islands by introduced mammalian pests.Check out some more facts and 9 more images on Giant Weta after the jump.
Not all Giant Weta are giant. They are ‘Giant Weta’ by species but not necessarily by size. For example, the Nelson Alpine Weta weighs around 7 grams on average, and the Kaikoura Weta can weigh up to 15 grams. The smaller species of Giant Weta have an advantage over the bigger Giant Weta because they find it easier to hide from predators.
Giant Weta facts: