Tusked weta

Northland tusked weta

The Northland tusked weta, Anisoura nicobarica, is a rare monotypic weta of the family Anostostomatidae, endemic to the northern half of Northland in New Zealand. It is one of only three tusked wetas, the others being in the genus Motuweta.

The Northland tusked weta is a small-bodied, glossy brown weta, with strong yellow banding on the abdomen. Males are up to 23 mm long, and females 33 mm. The males have protruding tusks at the base of the mandibles, which extend forward and cross each other.

Most specimens have been found inside manuka, Leptospermum scoparium, and kanuka, Kunzea ericoides, but they have been found in a variety of other locations. While mainly arboreal, they also spend time on the ground, and in holes in the soil. These holes are usually plugged with a mixture of saliva and wood chips, and the weta always faces the entrance.

They have an animal diet, feeding on live and dead insects and spiders.

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