Weta thomsoni

Rhaphidophoridae  : Macropathinae

The common and very widespread species from mid-Canterbury to Invercargill. Its natural habitat has been very difficult to determine. There is a population at Aorangi National Park inhabiting the Nothofagus forest floor and at Burkes Pass, near Fairlie, it is in matagouri - Aciphylla -tussock shrubland. In nearby Mid- and South-Canterbury limestone areas it is in caves and grykes. It is also occasionally found there in urban habitats especially in water tanks, septic tanks or covered drains. However, in Central Otago where there are few patches of limestone, fewer caves and no forest, the species is abundant in goldmining passages and adits. It has been found to be abundant in the covered drainage channels and under large pieces of timber in the very low-lying Otatara, a suburb of Invercargill. Its abundance in habitats associated with humans suggests that it may have been inadvertently carried to those sites; another example of a "native exotic" like the flatworm species Arthurdendyus testaceus and Arthurdendyus triangulatus.

Text updated: 17/01/2007