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Giant weta

Giant weta

Z305/0271

Rights Managed

53.5 MB (4.8 MB compressed)

3539 x 5286 pixels

30.0 x 44.7 cm ⏐ 11.8 x 17.6 in (300dpi)

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Credit

LOUISE MURRAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LOUISE MURRAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Giant weta. Close-up view of the head of a Giant weta (Deinacrida heteracantha) on a tree branch. This species of weta, also known as the Wetapunga from the Maori language, is native to New Zealand. Adults can measure up to 10cm long without including the antenna and legs, and pregnant females can weigh over 70 grams, making them the heaviest insects in the world. Giant weta are flightless and have survived on New Zealand since prehistoric times due to the absence of land mammals. The introduction of rats, cats, stoats and other mammals onto New Zealand have reduced the Giant weta populations to Little Barrier Island. The Giant weta is too heavy to jump but when threatened, raise their spiny hind limbs into the air. These nocturnal insects feed on plants and fungi.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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