The Giant Weta is the largest of the different sub-species, there's also the common Tree Weta and the jumping Cave Weta (not my favourite). Unfortunately, the Giant Weta is pretty rare these days, and a breeding program has been instigated by DOC, notably on the little island in the centre of Wellington's harbour. From there, 40 specimen were transported this week to the wildlife sanctuary here in town, and released. One ended up in the newspaper, on the back of the hand of a brave insect wrangler, six-year-old Rion Anderson of Ngaio.
KENT BLECHYNDEN/The Dominion Post
The Weta is a fascinating creature, I often find them outside my house (and occasionally inside). The ones I see on the property aren't as quite big as this one though. Oh, and as with pretty much every other NZ species, they're pretty harmless. What looks like a giant stinger at the rear is actually the ovipositor, with which the female lays her eggs.
Anyway, that's what Richard Taylor named his company after. Apparently when he named it he didn't expect to become a worldwide name - here in NZ everyone knows what a Weta is.
- Jack M.