Subject: Weta bug?? In the Pilbara
Location: Tom Price
February 1, 2014 6:57 am
Hi. I work in Tom Price in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. I have seen this (what looks to be a female juvenile) weta walking around at night. But from all my research they are from New Zealand. .. can you tell me if they have been seen here before. None of the locals knew what it was…
Signature: Peta Louise
Dear Peta Louise,
Wetas and King Crickets belong to the family Anontostomatidae, and according to records posted to the Atlas of Living Australia, there are sightings from Pilbara. While the Weta species found in New Zealand may be endemic and not found in Australia, there are representatives of the family in Australia where the common name King Cricket is used. You can view some images of both female and male King Crickets, Australostoma australasia, on Aussie Pythons & Snakes. You are correct that this is a female, but not necessarily a juvenile. We also located a matching photo on FlickR. Because they are large and formidable looking, King Crickets are often victims of Unnecessary Carnage. We are tagging your submission as the Bug of the Month for February 2014.