The giant weta can weigh up to 2.5 ounces and can grow up to 6 inches long! To my surprise that is the female too! The males only grow to half of the female’s size. In the article that I read, the reason why males are so much smaller is for mating purposes, for example, males are the ones that have to find the female and go to them. Males can walk up to 1 football field in a night, in comparison, that would be a human walking 4 miles………Have you guessed what this huge or “Giant” thing is? Yes, it’s a 6 inch long INSECT! GROSS!

This giant insect is mainly found in New Zealand. The little island in New Zealand that has more than enough of them is called the “wetapunga” which means “God of Ugly Things.” The giant weta has a vegetarian diet. It has such a large body that it is unable to jump. The Giant weta is also known as  the dinosaur insect, because it hasn’t changed for over 100 million years, so in other words it has been fat, ugly and not able to jump for a very long time! They are not a social insect by any means, but the female will lay around 100-300 eggs by age 2, and most females who lay the eggs will die before they hatch.

The giant weta is a part of 1 of the 5 main groups. There are the giant, tree, ground and the tusked. Most wetas are found in trees, under rocks, and in plants. The giant weta is a nocturnal insect, which to me is interesting. If you look at the pictures, the giant weta has a very long antenna, and it is twice as long as its body. It also sheds it shell roughly twice in its life time, so as you can guess it has a hard outer shell.

Even though the giant weta have lived through many different ages, they are now endangered. Out of the 70 species of this insect, 16 of them are endangered. The department of Conservation Staff established a population on the island Manurangi. They planted about 200 of them on the island, and they are now showing breeding progress.

When I first saw a picture of the Giant Weta I thought it was super gross looking, and I still do, but after learning information about it I like it a lot more. To me it is amazing how it has lived as long as the dinosaurs and it is still living today. I hope all of the wetas get off the endangered species list, because they are in my opinion the coolest, most exotic, and by far weirdest insect.

What do you think we can do to help the weta population? What did you think about the giant weta when you saw the picture? What do you think about it now that you know a little more about it?