Giant weta

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Description:
Giant wetas are species of weta in the genus Deinacrida of the family Anostostomatidae. Giant wetas are endemic to New Zealand, and are examples of island gigantism.

There are 11 species of giant weta, most of which are larger than other weta, despite the latter already being large by insect standards. Large species can be up to 10 cm (4 in) not inclusive of legs and antennae with body mass usually no more than 35g. One captive female reached a mass of about 70 g (2.5 oz), making it one of the heaviest documented insects in the world and heavier than a sparrow. This is, however, unnatural as this individual was unmated and retained an abnormal number of eggs. The largest species of giant weta is the Little Barrier Island giant weta, also known as the wetapunga. Giant weta tend to be less social and more passive than other weta. Their genus name, Deinacrida, is Greek for terrible grasshopper. They are found primarily on New Zealand offshore islands, having been almost exterminated on the mainland islands by introduced mammalian pests.

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