|Female huhu beetle Prionoplus reticularis, body length 4-5 cm|
Then I showed it to the campsite owner who was doing her rounds; to my surprise she promptly scooped it with a rug and told me: "It is a huhu bug. People don't like to see them, they can nip you... Please, put it in the bush".
Not me! I took it to a place by our tent and showed it around. Everybody was delighted to see it. All the while it hardly moved, so I took some more shots. Below is a close up of its biting mouth parts.
|Head of the huhu bug|
The story goes that the Maoris ate their larvae... Rather a tasty morsel as they can reach a fair size. Huhu is the Maori name for both larvae and adult. For more see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huhu_beetle
A very nice find indeed! I'm yet to see a weta, another NZ speciality... I will certainly keep you posted if I do ;-)