Wetapunga which means ‘God Of Ugly Things’ is one of the biggest insects on earth and is endemic to NZ.

They are a very heavy insect and weigh about 35 grams. They have long curved tusks with spiny legs. Surprisingly they have no wings, Their body is 7.5 cm long and the giant weta’s back legs are 13 cm long. They look prickly and sort of spiky. Their big black eyes stand out and catch everyone’s attention. They are a shiny brown colour and obviously like any other insect they have 6 legs.

The Wetapunga are native to NZ and can be found in your garden. Some people put up weta houses and they find them in there the following week. They also live in grasslands, forests and under logs and stones. You usually find them in caves, trees and in the bush.

The females lay 6 – 10 eggs and can lay 300 eggs in a lifetime. Their eggs are 4.5 to 7 mm long. They lay their eggs from Autumn to Spring and lay at night.

Wetapunga eat many things like leaves, plants, fruit and sometimes other insects. They also like eating lichens, flowers, carrots and seed heads. They are mostly herbivores.

I think you should watch out for Weta because they can bite you.