What insects may have the tusks of an elephant, can weigh as much as a thrush, are the heaviest insect on earth and yet live like mice ?
Only the New Zealand weta.
As many as 100 species of these thorny creatures dwell in burrows, caves and crevices,from lush islands to snowy mountain crests.' Weta ' is a strictly New Zealand name for the large, flightless nocturnal grasshopper.
Variations of the species are found in South Africa, Australia and Chile. They possess extremely long antennae, usually twice the length of the body but up to four times longer in the cave weta.
They look like grasshoppers from hell, ranging in colour from grey to red, black and bronze.
These unique creatures are a protected species under threat by man and various predators.
The 70 plus species are divided into 5 main groups
Each Weta has its own wooden box with a sliding lid.
They are packed securely in wood wool to minimise any movement in transit.
The box has various stamps on it with the studio name, edition number and name of the bronze inside and my signature verifying its authenticity.
The weta is signed and dated and has a ticket attached giving its name, its edition number and the year in which it was created.
As may been seen from the running totals below, weta are proving to be an enduring and popular item.
Current production as at:
26 April 2019.
Cave weta [ female ] 750 [end of edition ]
Cave weta [ female ] 26
Cave weta [ male ] 316
Giant weta [ male ] 153
Giant weta [ female ] 05 [ new ]
Tree weta [ female ] 312
Tree weta [ male ] 283
Tree weta [ West Coast ][ female ] 59
Giant weta [female] 350 [ discontinued ]
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