tusked weta

Tusked weta are distinctive because of the adult males having long curved "tusks" projecting forward from their jaws. The tusks are used to push an opponent; they are not used for biting. Tusked weta are mainly carnivorous, eating worms and insects. There are three species: the (smallest) Northland tusked weta Anisoura nicobarica; the (biggest) Middle Island tusked weta Motuweta isolata; and (middle sized) Raukumara tusked weta, Motuweta riparia. Northland tusked weta live in tree holes similar to tree weta. The Middle Island tusked weta, also called the Mercury Island tusked weta after the islands on which it lives, was discovered in 1970. It is a ground-dwelling weta, covering its shallow burrows with leaves. The Middle Island weta is the most endangered weta species and a Department of Conservation breeding programme is establishing new colonies on other islands of the Mercury Island group. The Raukumara weta was discovered in 1996, in ranges between Bay of Plenty and East Cape. Raukumara tusk weta live close to streams where they make burrows under stones. Because they live on the ground, young Raukumara tusk weta can be mistaken for ground weta, but tusk weta have "ears" and ground weta do not.

tusk weta tusk weta    
Northland tusk weta- Anisoura nicobarica male Raukumara tusk weta- Motuweta riparia male    
tusk weta map