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

Weta (Ground weta) Genus: Hemiandrus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Orthoptera
Suborder: Ensifera
Family: Anostostomatidae
Genus: Hemiandrus
Common name: Ground wetas

Hemiandrus is a genus of about 40 species of ground weta native to New Zealand and Australia. Most of the Hemiandrus have not yet been described. These species hide in burrows in the ground. They are usually nocturnal and at night emerge to hunt or scavenge invertebrate prey and to eat fruit. Hemiandrus are characterised by thread-like antennae which can reach to several times the body length. Ground weta does not have ears on their forelegs like those of the tree weta. They are usually long-lived with adults having a lifespan of over a year. The females inject their eggs into plant material in the ground.

The species Hemiandrus pallitarsis is a common ground burrowing weta, native to North Island and are found at all altitudes up to 200 masl. Hemiandrus pallitarsis are an important food source for kiwi. They and all other of this species are also on the diet of rodents such as rats and stoats.

 Hemiandrus use vibration signals to attract mates. Listen to the sound of a ground weta drumming its abdomen   Courtesy of Massey Univerity. 

A 12mm ground weta (12 mm body length). Note the length of the antennae

Photo of a New Zealand ground weta, possibly Hemiandrus pallitarsis (2 cm body length). Found in New Plymouth.



Another ground weta. 12mm body length

Small spines on the hind tibiae.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: