T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Weta (Auckland Cave Weta) Gymnoplectron acanthocera

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Orthoptera
Family: Rhaphidophoridae
Subfamily: Macropathinae
Genus: Gymnoplectron
Species: G.acanthocera
Scientific name: Gymnoplectron acanthocera
Common name: Auckland Cave Weta, tokoriko

This weta is endemic to New Zealand and is found in the in the Auckland and Coromandel area.
It is a large insect with a length of body plus legs and antennae that can be 350 mm.  They emerge at night to feed on fungi, leaves,  plants other inssects and animal remains. They can't hear or make any sound, but use their long, fine antennae to find their way around. Unlike other weta, cave wetas are not aggressive and will escape danger with giant leaps of 2-3m. Harmless to humans

A Gymnoplectron acanthocera male.

Gymnoplectron acanthocera male (left) and a female (right)


Photo showing the size against a headlight.


Male


Photo of wall with a Auckland cave wetaa  and Goldmine cave wetas (centre)


A male weta in an old pump shed at Ngunguru, Whangarei.