Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Auckland tree wētā

Pare - Auckland tree wētā

Pare - Auckland tree wētā

Māori name: wētā, pūtangatanga, taepo, taipo, tokoriro

English name: Auckland tree wētā

Scientific name: Hemideina figurata (Walker)
order = Orthoptera; family = Anostostomatidae (formerly Stenopelmatidae)

  • is found on Te Ika a Māui / North Island, north of the Manawatu Gorge;
  • differs from other species of tree wētā in having the body plate behind the head largely pinkish white;
  • has a complicated social life, with one male (the big-headed specimen as depicted here) maintaining a harem of females, and many young;
  • shelters in trees - in clumps of kahakaha, or in puriri moth tunnels, or large wood-borer galleries that they have enlarged with their powerful mandibles;
  • communicates by stridulating - moving their thighs, which have a group of pegs on the inner side, against a scraper or ridge on the side of the abdomen.