New Zealand Anostomatidae include several groups of similar looking (depending on your experience) insects that are relatively closely related to one another viz: "tree wētā", "ground wētā", "tusk wētā" and "giant wētā"

tree weta ground weta wellington tusk weta giant weta
tree wētā ground wētā tusk wētā giant wētā


Key to differentiate four groups of anostomatid wētā:

1. Spines on the hind tibia?

about five pairs of very heavy spines (spines longer than those on the ankle joint)

Hind tibial spines

.....go to 2

more than five pairs but small (shorter than the ones on the ankle joint)

.....go to 3

2. How wide is pronotal shield when compared to head?

same width as head......

tree wētā

wider than head

giant weta pronotal shield

....... giant wētā

3. Are there ears on fore tibia?


ears of tusk weta

............. tusk wētā


ground weta no ear

............... ground wētā (also Cave wētā)