Did you know that there are giant insects in New Zealand that can grow to be larger than a mouse? Well, they exist, and scientists want to preserve them for the future!
The insect is called the Mahoenui giant weta, and conservationists at New Zealand’s Warrenheip Reserve are working hard to save the endangered bug:
In other countries, insect conservation might be an afterthought. But New Zealand’s weta, particularly the Mahoenui, are hard to overlook. In size and lifestyle, the giant weta is a mouse in cricket’s clothing. To be sure, it lacks the crowd appeal of other indigenous species, such as the kiwi: More than once, neighbors of Warrenheip have called to demand that escapees be removed from their homes. But weta, which means “god of ugly things” in the language of the indigenous Maori, likely played key roles in New Zealand’s original ecosystem. The mahogany-colored, fist-sized Mahoenui giant weta, for example, spends its nights foraging on leaves and hides from predators during the day, much like a mouse. Even its droppings are small and round like a mouse’s.
It may be harmless, but would you want to find one of these things in your yard? Here’s a video of one taking on a cat:
And you thought cicadas were big!
Thankfully, despite having the powerful hind legs of a cricket, the giant weta is too big jump or fly — there are enough other terrifyingly quick insects in the world without this being one of them too.
Share if you’re fascinated by this giant bug!