Alpine scree wētā

The Alpine scree wētā (Deinacrida connectens) is only found in the South Island and is the most widespread of eleven species of giant wētā. The scre wētā is much less agressive than tree wētās. When disturbed, it will either remain motionless or attempt to run away. If they need to defend themselves, they will raise their legs in a threatening posture and produce soft sounds. Luckily they live in the alpine zone which is traditionally above rat level, as being large and unaggressive aren’t characteristics that would protect them from predators. If rats move higher into the mountains as a result of climate change the alpine scree wētā could quickly become threatened.Scree wētā can have vastly different colouring, from mostly black bodies to a mix of red, grey and olive. Duringthe day, they stay under rocks and in crevices of scree slopes. During the night, they come out of cover to feed on plants like lichens, herbs and shrubs.