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.