Winged Weta from Australia

giant cricket like bug?
Location: sydney australia, garden apt.
October 31, 2010 8:43 am
i was hoping you could ID this bug for me. it was about 3 inches long with maybe 7 inch antennae. it’s body was thick and mobile, curling it’s pelvis under and then out again.
Signature: thank you!

Winged Weta

Though your image is blurry and not the best quality, we were of the opinion that it represents a Winged Weta, but alas, we were having problems locating any information on Winged Wetas, also known as King Crickets.  We did find an online reference to the New Zealand Entomologist 26:  75-77 (December 2003) with an article entitled A winged weta, Pterapotrechus (Orthoptera:  Gryllacrididae), established in New Zealand. It is described as “a golden-brown insect.  Adults are 30 mm to 37 mm long, with enlarged hind legs, the males often being larger than the females.  It has long filamentous antennae; rows of large spines on the fore-tibiae, and adults of both sexes are fully winged.  Adult females have a 15 mm long slender curved swordlike ovipositor.  The forewings are soft and pliable, and wrap around the body behind the pronotum.  they extend a little beyond the tip of the abdomen.”  The included image is of a female, and since your specimen does not appear to possess an ovipositor, it must be a male.  Wikimedia Commons also has an image of a female Winged Weta.

You guys are amazing!! I am an instant fan and SO grateful for your ID.
Many many thanks!!!

hi Daniel,
I just looked up what 37mm is in inches and this makes me think we don’t actually have a winged weta. our bug was at least 2.5 inches, i think more like 3 (63 – 70mm). making ours twice the size. and again, the antennae were at least 6 inches, but really more like 8. ridiculously long…i’m sorry the picture isn’t better!
there was no ovipositor but there seemed to be a something like a prong at the end of the body.
lastly, the wings looked almost moist. sort of papery and wrinkled.
could our bug be a baby? meaning, could that be why it’s hard to find, because it will soon look different from what it is now?

Your bug is not a baby.  We are inclined to think several things regarding the size discrepancy.  First, official sizes probably represent an average, not the extremes.  Second, the species in Australia may be different, but we still believe it is a Winged Weta.  Third, people often think the bugs they see are much larger than they actually are.

1 thought on “Winged Weta from Australia”

  1. We found a large winged weta in our house in auckland today . Also large. Was a female with ovipositor. Including ovipositor it is over 5cm. Maybe growing larger in nz?


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