rhaphidophoridae
 
 

Cave Weta
Although there are many recognised genera in New Zealand the taxonomic diversity is actually a little less daunting than it, at first, appears. Several genera are monotypic (having just one species) and endemic to offshore islands, so these will rarely be encountered. Also some species and genera are found only in certain regions or habitat types so can be readily excluded as likely names for cave weta found in other places. For example Pharmacus spp are found only in montane places of South Island. A combination of morphological and genetic evidence are providing the information that may justify a reduction in the number of names by synonymising some of the remainder. For example the genera Gymnoplectron and Turbottoplectron do not appear in the list below because they appear to be synonyms of Pachyrhamma (i.e. all the species within the three genera can be managed within one).

However, the current classification is deficient in several ways, notably, poor definition of genera and species, and insufficient inventory work so that the actual ranges of many taxa are not well known. For instance we now know that Pleioplectron and Macropathus occur in North Island as well as South Island, whereas they were traditionally treated as South Island genera.

Diagnosing to species level is in many cases impossible because the morphological and geographic variation of most is not known. Here we focus on genus level classification and provide details of species where this appears to be reliable. Entries of general data are drawn primarily from the original descriptions unless more recent information is available.

For each genus we provide genus and/or species distributions maps. These are based primarily on species descriptions, and use the New Zealand entomological districts as their template. A region is filled if the taxon in question is known to have been found there. However, this does not exclude the possibility that the taxon occurs in other regions, nor does it indicate that the taxon is found throughout the indicated region. When a species distribution is based on few data such as species descriptions that rely on single specimen and/or single locality information, this is indicated by a spot on the map.

 

Click on a genus name below to find current information on species
This information is drawn primarily from the original species descriptions and will be updated as new information comes to light. Note that formal name endings have been corrected; for more details go here.
For help with identifying your cave weta go here.

Genus Distribution Remarks
  • Auckland Islands
Monotypic island endemic
Dendroplectron aucklandense

 

  • Snares Island
Monotypic island endemic
Insulanoplectron spinosum

 

  • Bounty Island
Monotypic island endemic
Ischyroplectron isolatum

 

  • North Island, South Island

 

  • Macropathus
  • North Island, South Island

 

  • South Island
New monotypic genus
 
  • North Island, South Island
 
  • North Island

 

  • Chatham Islands
Monotypic island endemic
Novoplectron serratum

 

  • Campbell Island
Monotypic island endemic
Notoplectron cambellense
Richards

 

  • North Island, western South Island
Includes Gymnoplectron &Turbottoplectron

 

  • North Island

 

  • Great Island, Three Kings group
Monotypic island endemic

dubious

  • Petrotettix
  • South Island

 

  • South Island

 

  • North Island, South Island

 

  • South Island
Probably belongs in Isoplectron

dubious

  • North Island, South Island, Chatham Is.

 

  • South Island (Canterbury)
Probably belongs in Pleioplectron

dubious