Return of the Demon Grasshopper

New Zealanders believer wetas are monsters straight out of a horror movie – but are they? This film exposes the private lives of these unique insect dinosaurs, and will open people’s eyes to the amazing secret world of wetas.

Produced by NHNZ

New Zealanders could have been known to the world as “wetas” instead of “kiwis” – such is the uniqueness of these giant flightless insects. In a land blessedly free of dangerous animals of any type it is these bizarre but mild mannered wetas in their various guises that possess the “Aaarrrgghh!! factor – proving for once and all, that if we don’t have monsters, then we must invent them!

In a journey through New Zealand, the quest for wetas takes us from snowy mountain tops, to island sanctuaries and suburban backyards. We see wetas in their various guises, from insect dinosaurs to midgets, and get a privileged insight into the secret night life of these “demon grasshoppers”. We see fierce battles between rival males, find out what’s on the menu, and discover the intimate secrets of a weta’s sex life.

In a search for scientific truth about wetas we learn about weta acoustics, and see how wetas wearing backpacks are helping unravel the mysteries of weta behaviour. We discover how captive breeding efforts are helping to save threatened wetas, and we see wetas starring as a tourist attraction.

Finally we realise that wetas are unique, and that they could only exist in New Zealand – that weird evolutionary cul-de-sac away out in the Pacific Ocean!

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