New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2000) 24(2): 201- 208

Artificial weta roosts: A technique for ecological study and population monitoring of Tree Weta (Hemideina) and other invertebrates

Research Article
S. A. Trewick 1,2
M. Morgan-Richards 1,2
  1. Department of Zoology, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. Present address: Department of Botany, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Rd, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom

Tree weta (Hemideina) are an important component of New Zealand forest ecosystems and have been identified as possible invertebrate indicator species in restoration programmes. We present designs for artificial weta roosts that have been used to monitor tree weta in Hawke's Bay for five years. A variety of invertebrates use the roosts including two species of Hemideina. Our data suggest that occupation of roosts may take a number of years, each roost monitors a very limited area, and that occupation by invertebrates fluctuates seasonally. We recommend that data from weta roosts be used primarily for temporal rather than spatial comparisons, and that installation of roosts takes place as far ahead of changes in management as feasible.