Wetas are a group of around 70 species of large insect in the Order Orthoptera (grasshoppers and crickets). Wetas are endemic to New Zealand and most species are predators or omnivores. Wetas superficially resemble some of the other large species of Orthoptera, such as Katydids, but usually have much more powerful back legs that are covered in spikes. Their hind legs are often used in defence but they also possess powerful jaws.
Wetas lay eggs in the soil or within rotting wood and some species of tree weta live in communal groups (although usually with just one adult male) in hollows within trees.
A photograph of a female Tree Weta; one of around 70 species of Weta that are endemic to New Zealand.
Photograph by Wolfgang K..
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