Anostostomatidae is a family in the order Orthoptera. It is sometimes referred to as Mimnermidae or Henicidae in some taxonomies, and common names include King crickets in South Africa, and wetas in New Zealand. They are believed to be most closely related to the Jerusalem crickets of North America. Prominent members includes the Parktown prawn of South Africa, and the giant wetas of New Zealand. The cave wetas belong to another family, the Rhaphidophoridae.
By virtue of their ability to cope with variations in temperature, members of the Anostostomatidae family can be found in a variety of environments including alpine, forests, grasslands, shrub lands and urban gardens. They are nocturnal and flightless, with a diet consisting of leaves, other insects, fungi, dead animals, and fruit. A giant weta species is probably the heaviest insect in the world.
Weta can bite. Tree weta bites are 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.
Habitat Use, Behavior and Movement Patterns of a Threatened New Zealand Giant Weta, Deinacrida Heteracantha (Anostostomatidae: Orthoptera)
Jan 01, 2011; Introduction The human colonization of isolated archipelagos usually results in a wave of extinctions in the native biota (James...