Weta Spotting

I’ve always enjoyed the slightly nerdier side of life. Therefore it didn’t take much for this article on Stuff to pique my interest.

Massey University entomologists are calling for volunteers to capture specimens and photos of New Zealand’s creepiest of crawlies – the weta.
The university’s Ecology Group has launched the “Weta Geta” website on how to identify New Zealand’s orthoptera, such as grasshoppers, crickets and especially weta.
The public are being invited to send in photos of weta to help Massey researchers classify new and existing species and catalogue their whereabouts.
Unfortunately the Massey page seems a bit hit and miss – it worked a week ago, but seems out of commission today: definitely a Weta Geta in beta. Not that it matters too much, it functions as a taxonomy guide and then links users to naturewatch.org.nz to actually record sightings.
There’s something rather pleasing about identifying and reporting such marvelous animals, even if the specimens are Hemideina crassidens (Wellington tree weta), a rather common sight here in Karori.

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