Summary: The giant Weta has a body measuring up to four inches long, not including legs and antennae. They can weigh as much as a sparrow. Weta crickets come in different varieties and species, most of which are found in New Zealand.
The Weta cricket is able to cope with different variation in temperature. Most are wingless omnivores, which gives them several options of food. Very helpful in the stark environments in which they live.
The Weta Crickets has powerful mandibles which can be very painful if they bite you. They also have a terrifying appearance, making them a frequent victim of irrational human aggression.
Different species of Weta crickets have varying lifecycles. Generally, Weta crickets have a longer lifespan than other insects and can grow as to the size of an adult human hand. The Weta can be found around the world, but most are found in New Zealand.
Here are the different types of Weta crickets and where they are found:
They are primarily found on small islands off the coast of the main islands of New Zealand and are examples of island gigantism.
There are 7 different species, each found in a different place.
1. The Auckland tree Weta can be found throughout the North Island of New Zealand apart from the Wellington-Wairarapa region.
2. The Wellington Tree Weta occupies Wellington, the Wairarapa, the northern parts of the South Island and the West Coast of New Zealand.
3. The H. trewicki Weta can be found in Hawke's Bay.
4. The H. femorata Weta can be found in Marlborough and Canterbury.
5. The rare H. ricta species can be found in Banks Peninsula.
6. The West Coast bush Weta largely overlaps with the Wellington tree weta in Nelson and the northern portion of the West Coast in New Zealand.
7. The H. Maori or mountain stone Weta lives in the drier areas of the South Island high country from the Kaikoura Ranges south to Rock and Pillar Range near Dunedin in New Zealand.
They consist of three different species each living in a different place,
The Northland tusked Weta can e found in tree holes in similar places to a tree weta.
The Middle Island Weta is the most endangered Weta species and can be found on Mercury Island.
The newly discovered Raukumara Weta can be found in the Raukumara Range near the Bay of Plenty.
These hide in burrows during the day and only appear during night. There are over 40 species of these which can be found all around New Zealand. Some species can be found in Australia.
As the name says, these crickets can be found in caves around New Zealand and some have been spotted in the high alpine trees living among the broken rock that are covered with snow up to six months of the year.
The Weta cricket can be helpful to the environment. The Weta passes seeds of some plant species through its digestive tract unharmed, thus acting as a seed disperser. Another positive ecosystem quality of the Weta is the fact that it is part of the diet of New Zealand's only surviving native owl, the Morepork.
Their only threat to people is that they eat the fruits and vegetables being grown. Otherwise, they pose no threat. In fact, some people have tried to cage Weta crickets as pets. They cannot be tamed so don't expect to own a lap-Weta. This is as far from a poodle as you can get.