December 4, 2011

Entomologist (bug scientist) Mark Moffett, who works at the Smithsonian institution, traveled all the way to New Zealand to try to find a Giant Weta (Deinacrida heteracantha).


He found one, all right - what he claims is the largest insect ever found…..or at least, the heaviest. Moffett says: "I did not measure anything but the weight. I’ve seen a walking stick nearly 19 inches long in Sarawak, Malaysia, but it weighed next to nothing." The giant weta weighed in at 2.5 ounces (71 grams) - that is as much as three mice!

These huge insects are members of the cricket family; their genus name, Deinacrida, is Greek for terrible grasshopper. They are vegetarians, which is why Moffett offered her a carrot. "She enjoyed the carrot so much she seemed to ignore the fact she was resting on our hands and carried on munching away. She would have finished the carrot very quickly, but this is an extremely endangered species, and we didn’t want to risk indigestion."


Photo: Mark Moffett / Minden / Solent

I have always been fascinated by big bugs. If you are, too, you can read more here!


Posted by: Seymour Simon

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