The heaviest insect in the world

01.12.2011

Huge grasshoppers — Giant Ueta, are endemic to New Zealand. In nature, there are 11 species of giant Ueta, most of which are much greater than those that appear in the image.


Giant ueta gladly eats carrots

Ueta very heavy insects with a body length of up to 10 cm, not including their long legs and antennae, they weigh more than 71 grams, making them one of the heavy insect in the world and heavier than a sparrow. Their generic name in Greek means "terrible grasshopper", found mainly in New Zealand at the offshore islands.

Almost all of them are wingless. Outwardly, they are somewhat similar to the big brown grasshopper, but the hind legs are enlarged and covered with large spikes. During insect protection with the force throws them in front and tries to injure the attacker.

But what is the cause of gigantism among these insects? These "living fossils" (yes, they have very ancient origins) were in the region of New Zealand, before she became an isolated archipelago. At that time there were no small mammals — the main enemies ueta, and those occupied their niche.

Ueta well adapted to living in any environment, whether forest, field, caves, land or city parks. They are nocturnal. Most of these giants are predators, but a giant ueta fed lichen, leaves, flowers and fruits.

 

 

 


These insects bring substantial benefit to the development of the flora of New Zealand — they are actively involved in spreading the seeds of native plants by eating their fruit.
 



Sexual maturity giant ueta comes only to one and a half years. Over time the female lays the ground about 200-300 eggs, and then die after a while. At first glance, the number of eggs is rather big.
 

 



But now there is a decrease in numbers of these insects. The main reason for this outrage is the destruction of the giant ueta small mammals and rodents, brought to the islands by man.

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