A nature lover has discovered the heaviest insect in the world weighing thrice more than a mouse in New Zealand.

The giant weta, weighing 71 grams, was found by the American park ranger, Mark Moffett, up a tree on Little Barrier Island in New Zealand, reported the Daily Mail.

After two days of searching in the tiny island of North Island, almost 100 kilometres off Auckland, Colorado-based Moffett chanced upon the female giant weta with a wing span of seven inches.

Also known as Wetapunga in native Maori language, the giant weta has been recorded as the world's biggest insect in terms of weight.

Endemic to New Zealand the cricket-like creature is found only on the Little Barrier Island. With almost 70 other species of weta found in New Zealand, the giants of the species were previously wiped off by rats accidentally introduced by Europeans, said the report.

The 53-year-old park ranger also fed the female giant weta with a carrot and later put the creature back in its place.

"The giant weta is the largest insect in the world, and this is the biggest one ever found, she weighs the equivalent to three mice," said Moffett to the Dail Mail.

"She enjoyed the carrot so much she seemed to ignore the fact she was resting on our hands and carried on munching away. She would have finished the carrot very quickly, but this is an extremely endangered species and we didn't want to risk indigestion.

"After she had chewed a little I took this picture and we put her right back where we found her.'

He also added: "We bug lovers hear a lot of people who think insects are inferior in some way because of their size, so it was great to see such a big insect. This became all the more amazing when we realised that this was the largest insect recorded."