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.
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.
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Rossignol (2289) 2006-05-21 3:48
Fascinating picture, Tony
I've seen these wetas before in wildlife documentaries. The fauna and flora of NZ is so unique - I really must visit and see it for myself some day. Your note is very interesting. The impression I have from tv programmes is that these things can be about 6 inches long - so interesting but a bit daunting. Good macro shot, maybe a slightly longer depth of field would have assisted sharpness in the extreme foreground at the head end of the animal.
Thanks for sharing.
Janice (4403) 2006-05-21 6:05
You've got me shivering already Tony! I do NOT like these insects. I thought you were going to say you found it in your gumboot! That used to happen on my sister's farm...
Good shot, could be a little sharper, but you get 10/10 for getting so close to it.
Can you see its ears? They are the holes in the front legs with the white ring around them.
Please keep it up there,
bazal (7900) 2006-05-21 13:55
This is a VERY interesting naturalistic contribution you've posted here. The picture is well composed, even if it could be a little bit sharper and if tyhe DOF is not perfect. Anywa, we learn a lot about these very interesting species thanks to this picture.
Thanks for sharing.
elmec (12210) 2006-05-21 18:14
This is so nice friend! brrrrr.... ;-))))
Very good makro photo!
Sharpness and colours are great!
s10001in (0) 2006-05-21 18:42
Nice picture tony.
But little problem.
It is off focs. :(
Cropping made bokeh prominent.
The leg on righ side is focused & very clear.
But you can see the bokeh on head, Tail & left side legs.
May be your object was moved when you clicked.
To shoot the bugs & flying object is really tough job.
Keep it up.
kittyhawk (1726) 2006-05-26 1:13
Very nice image, it seems to me that the DOF is a bit short for an image like this. But in this case it works this way. I like the detail you captured. Very nice work.
abulafia (4900) 2007-03-08 15:26
This is an impressive insect! im happy you are the one confronting it and not me.
Nice attempt of a macro, but it is a little unsharp.
Thanks for enlightening me on what to expect should i find myself in New Zealand one day