New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2006) 30(2): 273- 278

Movement patterns and gallery use by the sexually dimorphic Wellington tree weta

Short Communication
Clint D. Kelly 1,2
  1. Department of Biology, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, ON, Canada
  2. School of Botany and Zoology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia 0200

The Wellington tree weta, Hemideina crassidens, is a harem-polygynous nocturnal insect whose males defend and mate groups of females residing in cavities in trees. In this study I examined sexual differences in gallery use (number of galleries occupied per unit time), distance travelled per night and activity patterns after sunset. In addition, I investigated how gallery size affected each of these variables. On average, males and females did not differ in the number of galleries visited per night, or in the distance they travelled per night; however, adult males were more likely to be seen earlier in the night than later. Although males and females did not differ in their gallery use or distance travelled, adult males occupied a significantly greater number of galleries and travelled greater distances per night at sites with small galleries than did males at sites with large galleries. These results suggest that habitat structure of a forest patch influences intrasexual tree weta behaviour.