To Māori, the larval form is known as huhu (also tunga haere, tunga rākau) with the adult stage known as pepe-te-muimui. However, the larval and adult forms are commonly referred to as the huhu grub and huhu beetle, respectively.
As the huhu larva reaches maturity it ceases to bore in wood and casts its skin. This still edible stage is known in Maori as tataka. It then develops wings and legs, and while it is still white, it is known as pepe. Finally, it emerges and flies off to reproduce and is known as tunga rere.
The whitish-coloured larvae measure up to 70 millimetres (2.8 in) long and normally feed on dead wood of gymnosperms (mainly native and introduced conifers) associated with lowland podocarp forest. Following pupation and emergence, the adult beetle does not eat and lives for approximately two weeks.
As a food sourceEdit
- "pepe-te-muimui". maoridictionary.co.nz. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Best, Elsdon (1902). "Art. V.—Food Products of Tuhoeland: being Notes on the Food-supplies of a Non-agricultural Tribe of the Natives of New Zealand; together with some Account of various Customs, Superstitions, &c., pertaininy to Foods." Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 35: 64. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Miller, David; Walker, Annette (1984). Common insects in New Zealand (Rev. ed.). Wellington [N.Z.]: Reed. ISBN 0589014803. OCLC 12748887.
- "Huhu beetle". Te Papapa. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- John S Edwards (1959). "Host Range in Prionoplus reticularis" (PDF). Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 87 (Parts 3 and 4): 315–318.
- "Huia". The Official World Wildlife Fund Guide to Extinct Species of Modern Times. 1. Beacham Publishing. 1997. pp. 63–65.
- "Weird Food from around the World". 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.