Oh. My. God. This horror film inspiring insect is the world’s heaviest bug. The Giant Weta weighs in at 71g, (three times heavier than your average mouse) has a wingspan of 7 inches, and eats whole carrots.
The Giant Weta was discovered by Mark Moffett, a 53-year-old former park ranger, on a remote New Zealand Island.
The Daily Mail reports that there are over 70 types of Weta species in New Zealand but the Giant Weta is by far the biggest. Moffett spent two days searching on Little Barrier Island before he found his Giant Weta.
‘Three of us walked the trails of this small island for two nights scanning the vegetation for a giant weta. We spent many hours with no luck finding any at all, before we saw her up in a tree. 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 says that after he fed the huge insect part of a carrot, he put the insect back in the tree.
Here’s a video of the Giant Weta. (Not the same Giant Weta found by Moffett.)
“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 realized that this was the largest insect recorded.”
The Daily Mail reports that the Giant Weta is an example of island gigantism. Insects on islands like the Little Barrier Island have few predators so they can grow to enormous sizes.
Is this the biggest insect you’ve ever seen?