Giant Weta Found -- It's One Giant Bug (Big Enough to Eat a Carrot)

 
on December 02 2011 2:15 PM
Giant Weta Bug
Retired entomologist Graeme Ramsay shows two of his native New Zealand 'Weta' insects in his Auckland home October 18. These rare Mahoenui giant Wetas are harmless despite spikes on their legs and have been bred by Ramsay who has released over 100 of the insects into the wild. Reuters

The world's biggest insect lives on a small, remote island in New Zealand -- and it's one giant bug. The Giant Weta, as it is known, weighs 71 grams, and it's big enough to eat a carrot.

The bug was found on Little Barrier Island in New Zealand by nature lover Mark Moffett. He found it up a tree, according to the Daily Mail. Moffett searched for the bug for two days. He said that he and two others walked trails scanning vegetation for the giant weta. Finally, he found it -- a big bug even for the large weta (see video below).

Moffett is an entomologist and explorer at the Smithsonian Institute. He fed the insect a carrot, and the video went viral. Some wonder if the bug is truly the world's biggest, however. Yet nobody is doubting the girth of the giant weta -- bigger than a sparrow and three times bigger than a mouse.

The giant weta is the largest insect in the world, and this is the biggest one ever found, she weighs the equivalent to three mice, Moffett said, in an interview with the Daily Mail.

She enjoyed the carrot so much she seemed to ignore the fact she was resting on our hands and carried on munching away. She would have finished the carrot very quickly, but this is an extremely endangered species and we didn't want to risk indigestion.

After she had chewed a little I took this picture and we put her right back where we found her.' We bug lovers hear a lot of people who think insects are inferior in some way because of their size, so it was great to see such a big insect. This became all the more amazing when we realised that this was the largest insect recorded.

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