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August 19, 2022
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Six new wētā species found in New Zealand, as their habitat slowly disappears

Global heating speeding up their decline as terrain of newly discovered alpine species disappears

Six new alpine species of New Zealand’s most unusual and beloved insect – the wētā – have been discovered, but it is a bittersweet victory, with another piece of research describing the threat global heating poses for their snowy mountain habitat.

Wētā belong to the same group of insects as crickets and grasshoppers, and there are between 70 and 100 species of wētā endemic to New Zealand. They are wingless and nocturnal, and some, including the wētāpunga, are among the heaviest insects in the world – comparable to the weight of a sparrow.

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