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Cleaning out the laundry area and getting a load of washing ready this Jumping Jack literary jumped out of the wash basket, I think he decided that he did not want to go through the washing cycle, and who can blame him, it would have been a cold wash and a heck of a spin..
I scooped him up on a lovely card from a friend and could not resist a few photos before setting him free outside where I would much rather prefer he lived. They are strange looking creatures that have a cute little face…
Weta are incredible looking creatures. They range in size, but with their big bodies, spiny legs, and curved tusks, they are one of New Zealand’s most recognisable creepy-crawlies. This is my first sighting of this little creature in New Zealand.
By virtue of their ability to cope with variations in temperature, members of the Anostostomatidae family can be found in a variety of environments including alpine, forests, grasslands, shrub lands and urban gardens. The family is widely distributed across southern hemisphere lands including South America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. They are nocturnal and many are flightless although several flying species exist in Australia. The diet is diverse, rarely consisting of leaves, and more commonly a combination of other insects, fungi, dead animals, and fruit.
New Zealand had no native land mammals apart from native bats immediately before humans arrived, but Miocene fossils indicate terrestrial mammals probably existed at that time. In New Zealand, anostostomatid crickets (weta) are ecologically diverse and occupy a wide range of habitat types. Some genera are primarily predators or scavenger, whilst others – notably the so-called tree weta Hemideina and their close relatives the giant weta Deinacrida – can bite. Tree weta bites are not particularly common. They can also inflict painful scratches with the potential of infection. Weta are known to arc their hind legs into the air in warning to foes and use acoustic communication (stridulation) to signal to one another .
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 April 2011 Southland New Zealand
Jumping Jack – Weta