Thursday, June 7, 2012

Weta Homes

double clip to enlarge

On the Coromandel, on two occasions a tap at a filleting bench has been home to a weta. One had also taken up residence in the watering can hung up in a Ngaio alongside the bench.
Last year the Forest and Bird magazine had an article on wetas. It covered artificial homes advising they be made from minimum 20mm diameter bamboo stem.
3 homes were created using 15mm stem as this was the only bamboo available. One stem was hung in the Ngaio while another in a Kanuka nearby, and a third in another Kanuka at a different location within the section. Two weeks later upon inspection one of the homes was occupied and after a further two weeks, all had a resident weta.
Back in Hamilton, the Mangaiti Gully group removed a fallen Kanuka and found two naturally occurring weta homes in the trunk. The trunk that contained one of these homes was secured on an existing Kanuka tree. The other trunk was split length wise to expose the weta home, hinged for viewing then secured to another Kanuka.
10 bamboo homes have now been installed amongst the Kanuka where the initial discovery was made (alongside the walk bridge). A 15mm and a 30 mm stem have been paired and attached to the Kanuka (see photo) in five locations that do not appear to have naturally occurring homes. The length of the bamboo stem varies up to 220mm. After two weeks 2 have been occupied.  Both 15mm  diam stems and the 2 longest ones, 220 and 180mm.

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