I got some good photos, realised it was different and contacted the weta experts. No one has seen anything like this. There’s a chance it’s a juvenile Cook Strait Giant Weta with odd markings, but then there’s also a chance it’s a whole new species. Very exciting…colouration and some body features are very different.
So today I’m heading back to Mana Island for the night with 4 weta experts. We want to see if we can catch the insect again so they can determine how significant the find is! Back Monday evening.
Update 26 Oct 2009: Well, we found the spot I originally spotted the unknown weta (shown above), but strong winds conspired to make the search tough. We’ve marked and will be monitoring it for future developments.
We did have a top night though, finding a couple of Gold-striped Geckos (Hoplodactylus chrysosireticus) and a beautiful pair of Cook Strait Giant Weta (Deinacrida rugosa), some of the heaviest insects in the world – real whoppers! I’ll post a few photos of these shortly. Also, we saw the first nests of the very endangered New Zealand Shore Plover (Thinornis novaeseelandiae) on the beach. In fact, this morning I was enjoying a cup of tea sitting in the sunshine on the beach and a pair of rare plover came over and bedded down not far from my feet – how lucky is that! So, not successful this trip in finding the unknown weta, but great to see all these rare creatures.
Update 29 Oct 2009: I’ve just added a video of the Giant Cook Strait Wetas as they make great video actors! Check this out:
Wow, we just had this comment emailed to the office today that made our day. We asked Glenn if we could share it with you via our blog and he has kindly agreed. So thanks Glenn. I’m proud to have had such an impact, and very grateful for the kindness of your comments, and the time you took to let us know. Thanks and best regards, Rob
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Hi, my name is Glenn Cox and I am an Australian teaching in Jakarta, Indonesia.
I just want to say your work is an inspiration to me. I lived for a time (5 years from 1988 to 1993) in NZ and am seriously thinking of returning to NZ to live with my Indonesian family at the conclusion of my time teaching here in Indonesia. Your photos are a blessing and joy to behold and give me a huge lift when I am feeling down. I often just leave one of the panoramas open on my computer screen while I work at my desk.
Saw the new arrivals hall inside NZ Customs, at Auckland International Airport, when I got back. I’d supplied a special shot made of 10 high resolution digital files merged to make a very large photograph. To see a shot of mine welcoming us over the threshold onto NZ soil is a great feeling.
Nice work just in from Tanya and Norris at Mission Hall Creative here in Wellington, using our images to create a stunning range of 2 metre high ‘pull up’ branding banners for use by the NZ Department of Conservation. We reckon they’ve done a top job and would recommend their services if you’re after creative professionals.
Seeing my own work used to create quality output