When monitoring rare insect species, or when surveying faunas within nature reserves, it is desirable not to use indiscriminate lethal sampling techniques. In this investigation we assessed the usefulness of simple tree-mounted wooden shelters to monitor endemic weta (Orthoptera) in nature reserves in Canterbury, New Zealand. Fifty shelters were placed out at six sites and examined at three-monthly intervals for a year. A wide variety of invertebrates were found utilizing the shelters, with Arachnida, Blattodea and Collembola being the most common occupants. After three months over 80% of the shelters exhibited signs of use by invertebrates, increasing to 96% after 12 months. Only seven tree weta (Anostostomatidae) and one (dead) ground weta (Hemiandrus sp.) were observed in the shelters over the full 12 month period. There were 52 observations of cave weta (Rhaphidophoridae) in the shelters, 36 of which occurred at one site, Orton Bradley Park. Occupation of the shelters by cave weta was not affected by soil conditions, light intensity or aspect of the shelter. However, cave weta exhibited a preference for shelters less than 50 cm above the ground and for shelters attached to kanuka and vines. Although weta were found in only a small proportion (9%) of the shelters, this method proved useful in confirming the presence of weta without risk of harming vulnerable populations. These shelters are inexpensive and easy to manufacture and have potential for long-term non-lethal monitoring of weta and as a collection/carriage device for live specimens used in conservation translocations.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
J.A. Abell (2003) ArticleTitleGarden havens for pollinators The American Gardener Sept./Oct. 35–39
Anonymous 2005. http://www.doc.govt.nz/Conservation/001~ Plants-and-Animals/001~Native-Animals/Invertebrates/Weta. asp, New Zealand Department of Conservation (assess date 2 August 2005).
M. Ausden (1996) Invertebrates J. Sutherland (Eds) Ecological Census Techniques Cambridge University Press Cambridge 139–177
Y. Basset A.H. Arthington (1992) ArticleTitleThe arthropod community of an Australian rainforest tree: abundance of component taxa, species richness and guild structure Aust. J. Ecol. 17 89–98
A.F. Bennett L.F. Lumsden A.O. Nicholls (1994) ArticleTitleTree hollows as a resource for wildlife in remnant woodlands: spatial and temporal patterns across the northern plains of Victoria, Australia Pac. Conserv. Biol. 1 222–235
M.H. Bowie J.W.M. Marris R.M. Emberson I.G. Andrew J.A. Berry C.J. Vink E.G. White M.A.W. Stufkins E.H.A. Oliver J.W. Early J. Klimaszewski P.M. Johns S.D. Wratten K. Mahlfeld B. Brown A.C. Eyles S.M. Pawson R.P. Macfarlane (2003) ArticleTitleA terrestrial invertebrate inventory of Quail Island (Otamahua): towards the restoration of the invertebrate community N. Z. Nat. Sci. 28 81–109
M.H. Bowie C.M. Frampton (2004) ArticleTitleA practical technique for non-destructive monitoring of soil surface invertebrates for ecological restoration programmes Ecol. Manage. Restoration 5 34–42 Occurrence Handle10.1111/j.1442-8903.2004.00171.x
S.J. Brooks (1993) ArticleTitleReview of a method to monitor adult dragonfly populations J. Brit. Dragonfly Soc. 9 1–4
M.R. Butcher R.M. Emberson (1981) ArticleTitleAspects of the biology of carabid beetles of Ahuriri Bush Scenic Reserve, Banks Peninsula Mauri Ora 9 59–70
L.C. Cole (1946) ArticleTitleA study of the cryptozoa of an Illinois woodland Ecol. Monogr. 16 49–86 Occurrence Handle10.2307/1943574
G. Gibbs (1994) ArticleTitleThe demon grasshoppers N. Z. Geogr. 21 90–117
L.H. Field G.R. Sandlant (2001) The gallery-related ecology of New Zealand tree wetas, Hemideina femorata Hemideina crassidens (OrthopteraAnostostomatidae) L.H. Field (Eds) The Biology of Wetas, King Crickets and their Allies CABI Publishing Wallingford, UK 243–257
R.R. Forster C.L. Wilton (1973) ArticleTitleThe Spiders of New Zealand. Part IV Otago Museum Bulletin. 4 1–309
S. Hodge C. Frampton J.W.M. Marris V.F. Keesing C.J. Vink (2001) ArticleTitleThe trophic structure of the arthropod assemblage on kawakawaa New Zealand understorey tree Entomologists Monthly Mag. 137 173–178
S Hodge V. Standen (2006) ArticleTitleThe use of ‘cryptozoa boards’ to examine the distribution of woodlice (Isopoda) and illipedes (Diplopoda) in a disused limestone quarry Entomologists Monthly Mag. 142 55–61
K.A. Holehouse R.L. Hammond A.F.G Bourke (2003) ArticleTitleNon-lethal sampling of DNA from bumble bees for conservation genetics Insect. Sociaux 50 277–285 Occurrence Handle10.1007/s00040-003-0672-6
I.G. Jamieson M.R. Forbes E.B. McKnight (2000) ArticleTitleMark-recapture study mountain stone weta Hemideina maori (Orthoptera: Anostomatidae) on rock for ‘islands’ N. Z. J. Ecol. 24 209–214
S.J. Joyce I.G. Jamieson R. Barker (2004) ArticleTitleSurvival of adult mountain stone Hemideina maori (Orthoptera : Anostostomatidae) along an altitude gradient as determined by mark-recapture N. Z. J. Ecol. 28 55–61
V. Keesing S.D. Wratten (1998) ArticleTitleIndigenous invertebrate components in ecological restoration in agricultural landscapes N. Z. J. Ecol. 22 99–104
Kelly G.C. 1972. Scenic Reserves of Canterbury. Biological Survey of Reserves. Report 2. Department of Lands and Survey.
C.D. Kelly (2005) ArticleTitleAllometry and sexual selection of male weaponry in Wellington tree wetaHemideina crassidens Behav. Ecol. 16 145–152 Occurrence Handle10.1093/beheco/arh141
G. Lushai W. Fjellsted O. Marcovitch K. Aagaard T.N. Sherratt J.A. Allen N. Maclean (2000) ArticleTitleApplication of molecular techniques to non-lethal tissue samples of endangered butterfly populations (Parnassiuss apollo L.) in Norway for conservation management Biol. Conserv. 94 43–50 Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0006-3207(99)00165-2
D. Mann (2002) Ladybirds: Natural Pest Control Oxford Osmia Publications 38
M.A. McGeoch (1998) ArticleTitleThe selection, testing and application of terrestrial insects as bioindicators Biol. Rev. 73 181–201 Occurrence Handle10.1017/S000632319700515X
R.G. Ordish (1992) ArticleTitleAggregation and communication of the Wellington weta Hemideina crassidens (Blanchard) (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae) N. Z. Entomologist 15 1–7
E. Pollard (1991) Monitoring butterfly numbers F.B. Goldsmith (Eds) Monitoring for Conservation and Ecology Chapman and Hall London 87–111
T. Ranius (2002) ArticleTitleInfluence of stand size and quality of tree hollows on saproxylic beetles in Sweden Biol. Conserv. 103 85–91 Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0006-3207(01)00124-0
T. Ranius S.G. Nilsson (1997) ArticleTitleHabitat of Osmoderma eremite Scop. (Voleoptera: Scarabaeidae), a beetle living in hollow trees J. Insect Cons. 1 193–204 Occurrence Handle10.1023/A:1018416000766
C.G. Rufaut G.W. Gibbs (2003) ArticleTitleResponse of a tree weta population (Hemideina crassidens) after eradication of the Polynesian rat from a New Zealand island Restoration Ecol. 11 13–19 Occurrence Handle10.1046/j.1526-100X.2003.00058.x
Samways M.J. 2005. Insect Diversity Conservation. Cambridge University Press. pp. 342.
G.H. Sherley (1998) Threatened Weta Recovery Plan. Threatened Species Recovery Plan no. 25 Department of Conservation Wellington, New Zealand
G. Sherley (2001) Conservation of threatened species of weta (Orthoptera: Anastostomatidae) in New Zealand L.H. Field (Eds) The Biology of Wetas, King Crickets and their Allies CABI Publishing Wallingford, UK 243–257
T.R.E. Southwood G.R.W. Wint C.E.J. Kennedy S.R. Greenwood (1978) Ecological Methods: With Particular References to the Study on Insect Populations Wiley London 524
T.R.E. Southwood G.R.W. Wint C.E.J. Kennedy S.R. Greenwood (2005) ArticleTitleThe composition of the arthropod fauna of the canopies of some species of oaks (Quercus) Eur. J. Entomol. 102 65–72
J.R. Spear (2004) ArticleTitleMinimum-impact research Conserv. Biol. 18 861 Occurrence Handle10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.L01_1.x
E.B. Spurr P.H. Berben (2004) ArticleTitleAssessment of non-target impact of 1080-poisoning for vertebrate pest control on weta (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae and Rhaphidophoridae) and other invertebrates in artificial refuges N. Z. J. Ecol. 28 63–72
E.B. Spurr K.W. Drew (1999) ArticleTitleInvertebrates feeding on baits used for vertebrate pest control in New Zealand N. Z. J. Ecol. 23 167–173
J.A. Townsend B. Brown I.A.N. Stringer M.A. Potter (1997) ArticleTitleDistribution, habitat and conservation status of Hemideina ricta H. femorata on Banks PeninsulaNew Zealand N. Z. J. Ecol. 21 43–49
S.A. Trewick M. Morgan-Richards (2000) ArticleTitleArtificial weta roosts: A technique for ecological study and population monitoring of Tree Weta (Hemideina) and other invertebrates N. Z. J. Ecol. 24 201–208
J. B. Ward R.P. Macfarlane P.J. Quinn S.J. Morris T.R. Hitchings E.H. Green J.W. Early R.M. Emberson G.D. Fenwick I.M. Henderson R. Henderson P.M. Johns M.-C. Larivière J.W.M. Marris L. Matile I.D. McLellan B.H. Patrick C. Smithers M.A.W. Stufkens C.J. Vink H.D. Wilson (1999) ArticleTitleInsects and other arthropods of Hinewai ReserveBanks PeninsulaNew Zealand Records Canterbury Museum 13 97–121
D.F. Ward M.-C. Laviere (2004) ArticleTitleTerrestrial invertebrate surveys and rapid biodiversity assessment in New Zealand: lessons from Australia N. Z. J. Ecol. 28 151–159
About this article
Cite this article
Bowie, M.H., Hodge, S., Banks, J.C. et al. An appraisal of simple tree-mounted shelters for non-lethal monitoring of weta (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae and Rhaphidophoridae) in New Zealand nature reserves. J Insect Conserv 10, 261–268 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-005-5594-3