A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Brown black they can reach up to 15cm, females are larger and bulkier with an obvious ovipositor, whilst the males have sturdier 'thighs' & graspers. They are flightless & nocturnal & only live for 12-18 months. During this time the female lays up to 300 eggs which then take up to 8mths to hatch.
They went extinct from Lord Howe Is in the early 20th century when rats got on to the island from a sinking ship! Believed extinct for over 80years, they were rediscovered in the early part of this century by climbers on Balls pyramid, an inhospitable granite outcrop off Lord Howe. Only 20 survive in the wild on a single precarious bush! Melbourne zoo has the primary breeding and research program.
I was soo excited to see these at Melb zoo as I had seen David Attenborough with them & read a couple of articles about their rediscovery - they look quite prehistoric, it felt like a privelidge to see something critically endangered & the work the zoos doing is very impressive - in theory they will one day be established back on Lord Howe, but not until the rats are eradicated.