World's Biggest Insect Found, Fed, and Freed

New Zealand's weta bugs are grotesque, and endangered.  The Māori word for the Giant Weta is 'wētā punga' and it is the heaviest insect in the world.

A giant among giants has been found - a record holder 71 grams or about 1/20th of a pound.

Mark Moffett, a 53-year-old former park ranger tracked the giant weta up a tree. He lured the thing to the ground offering and feeding it a carrot.

When rats arrived in New Zealand on British ships - the weta was nearly wiped out. Finding this giant female gave Mark and his buddies the thrill of a lifetime, the unbridled joy only an aging Entomologist could get - feeding it a carrot, and taking all kinds of goofy pictures stinger side down, of course.

Mark carefully placed the monster back on its tree-high perch, being careful, as he noted, not to let it over indulge in carrot - or get fantasies it might be brought back to a warm lab to live out its days. Mark wants it to breed, and breed it shall - large, lumbering, over-sized, belly crawling Giant Weta babies.