Weta close up insects of New ZealandWeta head insects of New ZealandWeta mites insects of New Zealand
Giant weta insects of New Zealand
Weta insects of New Zealand

New Zealand Weta

Habitat Weta are nocturnal and live in a variety of habitats including: pasture, shrub, forests, and caves. Weta excavate holes under stones, rotting logs, or in trees. They sometimes occupy pre-formed burrows.

Distribution Many of the giant species now only survive on protected land, and many are endangered. The giant weta is the heaviest insect on earth.

The mahoenui giant weta, long considered extinct on the mainland, was rediscovered in a patch of King Country gorse in 1962. That weta is illustrated well the bottom of this page. Department of Conservation staff have established a new population of these on Mahurangi Island, off the Coromandel coast. Two hundred have been transferred there, and after four years they are showing signs of breeding.

Diet Weta are mainly herbivorous in the wild, but are also known to eat insects.


About There are more than 70 species of weta in New Zealand, 16 of which are at risk. They are one of the oldest species with fossils dating back to the Triassic period

Photos Below Steve Reekie unless mark as otherwise.

Stephen's Island Weta Dr Paddy Ryan
Cave Weta Dr Paddy Ryan
Mahoenui Weta Dr Paddy Ryan
Mahoenui Weta Dr Paddy Ryan
Tree Weta Dr Paddy Ryan
Mahoenui Weta Dr Paddy Ryan
Stephen's Island Weta Dr Paddy Ryan