Neonetus are small cave weta that inhabit forest, expecially among the damp litter and decaying logs, sometime in damp tree holes. The genus has been overlooked due to its small size and cryptic nature, and additional species are likely to exist. Colour patterns appear to be variable even within populations and between males and females, adding to taxonomic confusion. Some forms carry a prominent pale longitudinal stripe and have been referred to as the "painted" weta. However, similar colour pattern variation exists in Isoplectron!
Neonetus variegatus Brunner, 1888
Body length: 12mm. Pronotum: 3mm. Ovipositor: 6.5mm.
Antennae: “about three times the length of the body” = 36mm.
Legs: posterior femora 9.5mm., posterior tibia 11.5mm (Hutton 1897).
Habitat: Under bark of trees, in holes in trees, in and under rotting logs, in artificial weta roosts.
Auckland. Subsequently found: Newstead, Cambridge; Whirinaki Forest Park; Karori Sanctuary, Wellington; Mohi Bush, Hawkes Bay; Camp Rangiwoods, Pohanghina Valley, Manawatu; Lake Rotokare, Taranaki.
Neonetus pilosus Hutton, 1897.
Body length: 11mm. Antennae: “very hairy”. Pronotum 4mm. Thorax 7mm.
Abdomen 5mm. Width at mesonotum 4 mm.
Legs: Very hairy. Fore tibia 6mm. Hind tibia 11 mm. Hind femur 10 mm.
Notes: In old burrows of Hepialus virescens (Hudson). Described by Hutton as being “much more hairy than N. variegatus,” with “ subgenital plate in the male more pointed than in N. variegatus, and the keel not extending beyond the bases of the styles.”
Neonetus pilosus may be a synonym of N. variegatus. The genus probably includes the species Talitropsis poduroides (Walker, 1869). Neonetus huttoni Chopard, 1923 was established to accommodate variation in the material used by Hutton, but specimens are now missing.