Josephine Fitness

Doctor of Philosophy, (Zoology)
Study Completed: 2017
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Te Putaiao o Tokoriro: Taxonomy and diversity of New Zealand cave weta (Orthoptera: Rhapidophoridae)

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

New Zealand prides itself in the high level of endemic biodiversity, yet we do not know most of what exists. The Rhaphidophoridae comprises many species but most have not been formally recognised and described. This is a necessary step to understanding the biology of these animals and how they fit into native ecosystems. Miss Fitness used morphological and molecular tools to distinguish and identify species that often co-occur in the same habitats. Many of the species found were new to science and are now being scientifically described. Her research enables a framework to be developed that can be used to continue the study of these species and other groups of insects.

Professor Steven Trewick
Professor Mary Morgan-Richards