Photographer's Note

The following is another extract from Weta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Weta have survived virtually unchanged since the Mesozoic era, possibly because they had few native predators. In this respect, they can be compared with the tuatara. Fossilized weta have been found in Australia, although they do not exist there now. This proves they were present in ancient Gondwanaland, prior to the separation of New Zealand from that ancient landmass.
Giant, tree, ground and tusked weta are all members of the family Anostostomatidae (traditionally in the Stenopelmatidae, but recently separated). Cave weta are members of the family Rhaphidophoridae, in a different Ensiferan superfamily.
About a tenth of the species of weta belong to the giant weta (Deinacrida heteracantha) group, most of which are significantly larger than other weta, despite already being large by insect standards. A giant weta can have a body length in excess of 8 centimetres (3 in) not inclusive of its lengthy legs and antennae, and weigh more than 70 grams (2.5 oz), making it the heaviest documented insect in the world[1] and heavier than a sparrow. The largest species of giant weta is the Little Barrier Island weta also known as the wetapunga (god of ugly things). Giant weta tend to be less social and more passive than other weta. They are classified in the genus Deinacrida, which is Greek for terrible grasshopper. They are found primarily on small islands off the coast of the main islands.

I found this weta, a female, in the milking shed one morning where it was crawling around the floor – always towards me, no matter where I was. This particular one is about 6cm in length. Knowing that they’re capable of inflicting a painful bight but not wanting to harm it, I placed it in a sink in another part of the shed with plans to release it and photograph it. This is one of those pics.
Alterations to this image include partial rotation, cropping, and slight increases to both brightness and contrast.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Tony King (tonyking) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 427 W: 52 N: 440] (1612)
  • Genre: Lieux
  • Medium: Couleur
  • Date Taken: 2005-12-15
  • Categories: Nature
  • Camera: Minolta dynax 5
  • Exposition: f/3.6, 1/50 secondes
  • Versions: version originale
  • Date Submitted: 2006-05-22 6:20
Viewed: 2760
Points: 10
Additional Photos by Tony King (tonyking) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 427 W: 52 N: 440] (1612)
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