wetaaaaaa

bugs have some serious cute potential.  sounds far-fetched, but as a cute connoisseur, i swear it’s true.  don’t believe me?  check out all these posts on cute overload (okay, there are a lot of snails and crabs in there, but whatever, there are some beetles and caterpillars and ladybugs in the mix.)

and look at this guy!  what a face, right?

wetas are pretty cute until you realise that they are the largest insects in the world. so large, in fact, the weta that can fly are among the largest flying insects in the world. many cannot jumpor fly, and instead raise their spiny hind legs as a warning (although this is because they evolved in an environment with no large predators). there are seventy species of weta, and eleven species of giant weta.  giant weta can reach up to eight inches, once you count their legs and antennae.  sooooo, they are kind of terrifying, until you realise that they are vegetarians and that their bites are not painful.

weta are nocturnal. during the day, they cuddle up together in trees which have holes caused by rot or other burrowing insects. or, if you live in new zealand and want to make a little habitat for them, you can make a weta motel. because weta evolved in absence of larger predators, after the introduction of cats, rats and stoats, their population was vastly reduced. creating a weta motel gives them a safe place to rest during the day.

i don’t quite understand how this makes sense, but weta have their ears located on their front legs. weta can taste their food before it reaches their mouths, because their mandibles are equipped with sensory organs.

check out this juvenile weta! its giant antennae and tiny body totally remind me of plankton from spongebob.


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