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


Weta (Mountain stone) Hemideina maori

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Orthoptera
Suborder: Ensifera
Family: Anostostomatidae
Genus: Hemideina
Species: H. maori
Binominal name: Hemideina maori
Common name: Mountain stone weta.

Hemideina maori is a New Zealand nocturnal weta in the genus Hemideina. It is not an arboreal weta as the other six members in the same genus. Their normal diet is grass and vegetation.
Hemideina maori is an alpine ectothermic, cold-adapted insect which can freeze solid during cold periods and survive. It is the world’s largest known freezing-tolerant insect. They have ice nucleating agents in their haemolymph (a fluid equivalent to blood in most invertebrates) and guts. When exposed to sub-zero temperatures they can withstand freezing below their super cooling point, for at least 5 hours at −9°C and for at least 8 hours at −8°C. The weta’s lowest lethal temperature is about −10°C.
Colonies living at higher altitudes and hence lower temperatures have larger bodies.

A male and female weta hiding under a boulder. The female has the long oviducts. The male's head is much larger.
 

A BBC video. The Mountain Stone Weta, boasts perhaps the most extraordinary survival technique of all - the ability to come back from the dead. With the aid of a specialized filming chamber we are able to witness stunning footage of life slowly returning to this frozen insect.
a

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/