Use of rock crevices as refuges by the tree weta Hemideina femorata Hutton 1897 (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae) at Mt Cass, Canterbury
The Canterbury tree weta, Hemideina femorata, is reported from coastal Mt Cass, Canterbury where it was observed in narrow rock crevices and under large limestone slabs in escarpment, pavement and boulder habitats over 480 m above sea level (a.s.l.). No tree weta were observed occupying logs, tree cavities, under bark, or leaf foliage, suggesting that this population might have a local preference for rock refuges over tree holes. Five of seven rock galleries observed were cohabitated by Canterbury gecko (Woodworthia aff. brunnea). Our observations on Mt Cass were of a tree weta population at low density. The restriction of weta to the ridgeline, and seemingly ample unused available habitat may be symptomatic of a diminished population or one at the limits of its natural range.