This weta was crawling across our kitchen bench ... they look very scary but in reality are quite delightful and non-threatening. The body of this one was about 5cm long.
The weta is an amazing insect, found not just in New Zealand but also in South Africa, Australia, and South America. Although not unique to New Zealand, the weta is found here in its largest forms.
Here it is able to grow lengths of up to 90mm and weighs up to 70grams. The weta exists in almost every habitat that New Zealand has to offer, from the warm sandy climates of Northland to the alpine environments of the Southern Alps, displaying true diversity. Weta is strictly a New Zealand name that derives from the Maori name of wetapunga that was given to the giant weta. Wetapunga translates roughly to "God of ugly things". Other Maori names, tokoriro and putangatanga, have been applied to the Auckland tree weta that is found throughout the northern and central parts of the North Island