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Wetsuit Boot Weta

Wetsuit Boot Weta
Photo Information
Copyright: Steve Reekie (LordPotty) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1381 W: 144 N: 3872] (12503)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-04
Categories: Insects
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/8 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-01-04 4:02
Viewed: 4822
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Tree Weta (Putangatanga)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Orthoptera
Suborder: Ensifera
Family: Anostostomatidae
Genus: Hemideina

This is the last thing you want to feel when you slip your bare foot into a wetsuit boot before a surf ... the stuff nightmares are made of actually ... but that is exactly how I discovered this beauty.
This is a Tree Weta,possibly the West Coast Tree weta Hemideina broughi although I have no image to compare it with as yet.
As you can see from the ovipositor,this is a large female. I measured this one at about 13cm (including the antennae) The body itself measured around 8cm from the head to the tip of the ovipositor.
When I first felt it with my toes I thought that there must be twigs and leaves in my boot,but when they didn't shake out I knew straight away what it was .... AAAARGH!
Generally Weta are not aggressive,unless mishandled.
Luckily,I didn't annoy it too much before I discovered what it was.
As far as the photo goes ... I'm not entirely satisfied with the image. The Weta was lively and uncooperative and the light was difficult,so I did a pretty rushed job. As you can see,the DOF and focus are not great but I know I can do better.
I've got her in the fridge tonight 'chilling out' and tomorrow I'll try my luck again.
Hope you like the shot anyway.
Here is a little information about Hemideina species taken from Wikipedia.

Tree wetas are species of weta in the genus Hemideina of the family Anostostomatidae. They are endemic to New Zealand.
Tree wetas are those most commonly encountered in suburban settings. They are up to 40 mm long and most commonly live in holes in trees formed by beetle larvae. Each hole, called a gallery, will house up to ten females and one male. Tree weta are nocturnal. Their diet consists of plants and small insects. The males, which have much larger jaws than the females, hiss and bite when threatened.
Mountain stone weta can survive being frozen for months at a time in a state of suspended animation down to temperatures of -10C. This is because their haemolymph (the insect equivalent of blood) contains special proteins which prevent ice from forming in their cells.
When the territories of species overlap, they may interbreed, although offspring are sterile.

red45, elizabeth, marhowie, cicindela, sway, haraprasan, mlines has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To red45: Funny questions and answers from tourism website.LordPotty 1 01-04 14:32
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2008-01-04 9:26]

Hello Steve,
the insect is presented in an impressive way.
The focus is exact and nice details are seen such as structures and colour patterns on body and legs.
Sharpness and depth of field could be better - but you explained the circumstances of this capture.
Considering the parameters f/2.8 and 1/8 seconds, the result appears incredible!
Best wishes, Peter

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-01-04 10:00]
  • [+]

Hi Steve!

Most dangerous predator from NZ strikes back :-) I like details, composition with green something, shinning armour and surprisingly long note :-)

By the way - Janice sended me great email with questions about NZ from one of tourism websites. I like this one:

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first

And one more:

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in NZ ? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.


Q: Are there supermarkets in Auckland and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal .

I like most your notes Steve, they not only inform, but entertain :)
Nice job, especially if you consider the camera settings you had to use..I might've tried to go ahead and include all the body parts in the comp. I can see losing the antennae, but you did a nail clipping at the toes..

Hi Steve!
You are right, this is a biiiig one! And to find it in the boot? No, thank you! ;)
Nice picture even if - as you noted - not entire body of this giant Orthoptera species is in focus. But presentation is vey interesting also thanks to your note, both funny and informative.
By the way, in Europe (unfortunatelly not in Poland) there is also one big Orthoptera species, Saga pedo. Females are some 11-12 cm :)
TFS and have a nice weekend (without similar surprices! ;>),

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-01-05 18:09]

My Fav Bug!! (NOT!) Felt the odd couple in gumboots while holidaying on my sister's farm many years ago - enough to put you off them for life.
Good shot of him Steve. It looks quite big too,

  • Great 
  • sway Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 305 W: 85 N: 319] (1276)
  • [2008-01-06 0:13]

Nice shot of this wee lass. These insects fascinate me they are such an ancient type of creature.
Love the colours and the details on it body.

Namastay Steve,
Wish you a very Happy New Year 2008. A nice capture of this tree weta. Excellent composition and details. Thanks a lot for sharing.


  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2008-05-24 20:10]

Hi Steve, We had these in a hedge as kids in Hawera so very good to see this clear photo of it where the fear factor is less. The colours are very realistic and good details of the legs and body are visible. TFS. Murray.

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