Isoplectron armatum

Rhaphidophoridae  : Macropathinae

Members of this genus pose a real problem in the understanding of the New Zealand weta fauna. The problem is centered on the limits accepted for a genus or a species. Firstly Isoplectron and Neonetus are close and perhaps should be accepted as one. The few named species presently in Isoplectron or Neonetus do not reflect the full fauna as at least 10 more await description. Furthermore four names are available for the same species. These are Isoplectron armatum Hutton 1897, I. calcaratum Hutton, 1897, I. aciculatum Karny, 1937 and Setascutum ohauense Richards, 1972. The formal resolution of this confusion would be three names to become synonyms of Isoplectron armatum Hutton 1897 and all details presented here follow this. It also changes Setascutum pallidum Richards 1972 to Isoplectron pallidum.

Its habitat is primarily under bark or in holes of various trees especially dead Nothofagus cliffortioides and kanuka. It is seldom in wet logs but may be found in dry logs, even those in Pinus plantations. It has been known to be in dry firewood piles in urban situations but whether this is a permanent habitat is unknown.

Text updated: 28/08/2012