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Photographer's Note

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

The weta family comprises around 70 insect species endemic to the New Zealand archipelago. They are large by insect standards, some species among the largest and heaviest in the world. Their physical appearance is that of a cross between a cockroach and a cricket with the addition of large legs. Their name (strictly, wētā) comes from the Maori language, but has been incorporated into New Zealand English, so the plural "wetas" may appear.
By virtue of their ability to cope with variations in temperature, weta can be found in a variety of environments including alpine, forests, grasslands, caves, shrub lands and urban gardens. They are nocturnal and flightless, with a diet consisting of leaves, other insects, fungi, dead animals and fruit.
Weta can bite, with bites from tree weta particularly common. They can also inflict painful scratches with the potential of infection. Weta are known to arc their hind legs into the air in warning to foes.
Aside from native bats, New Zealand had no land mammals prior to the arrival of humans. In New Zealand other types of animals played roles in the ecological environment that in other parts of the world would be played by mammals. The weta’s place in the food chain is comparable to that held by mice and other rodents elsewhere in the world. For example, like their foreign mouse equivalents, they are hunted by an owl: in this case the Morepork, New Zealand’s only surviving native owl. Weta also pass seeds of some plant species through their digestive tracts unharmed, thus acting as seed dispersers. It is unknown how decreases in weta populations are affecting native plant species that relied on the weta's help.

~o0O0o~

I found this weta, a female, in the milking shed one morning where she was crawling around the floor – always towards me, no matter where I was. 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.
The only alterations I made were to crop the original image.


Kind regards,
Tony

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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: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2005-12-15
  • Categories: Nature
  • Exposure: f/2.8, 1/30 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2006-05-21 3:44
Viewed: 2023
Points: 12
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