|Poor Knights Islands giant weta (Deinacrida fallai) – overall length 20 cm (8 inches)|
There are eleven species of giant weta, most of which are larger than other weta, despite the latter also 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 35 g. 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, abnormal, 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. One example reported in 2011 weighed 71 g.
Giant weta tend to be less social and more passive than other weta. Their genus name, Deinacrida, means "terrible grasshopper", from the Greek word δεινός (deinos, meaning "terrible", "potent", or "fearfully great"), in the same way dinosaur means "terrible lizard". They are found primarily on New Zealand offshore islands, having been almost exterminated on the mainland islands by introduced mammalian pests.
- Deinacrida carinata, Herekopare weta
- Deinacrida connectens, Scree weta
- Deinacrida elegans, Bluff weta
- Deinacrida fallai, Poor Knights giant weta
- Deinacrida heteracantha, Little Barrier Island giant weta
- Deinacrida mahoenui, Mahoenui giant weta
- Deinacrida parva, Kaikoura giant weta
- Deinacrida pluvialis, Mt Cook giant weta
- Deinacrida rugosa, Cook Strait giant weta
- Deinacrida talpa, Giant mole weta
- Deinacrida tibiospina, Mt Arthur giant weta
- "Book of Insect Records".
- Jessica Satherley (2011-12-01). "Meet the world's heaviest insect, which weighs three times more than a mouse... and eats carrots". The Daily Mail.
- "World's biggest insect is so huge it eats carrots". Telegraph. 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
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