Geographical Range Southwestern United States
Habitat Deserts
Scientific Name Moneilema gigas
Conservation Status Not listed by IUCN

This beetle lives in the hot, arid deserts of the American Southwest. It spends most of its life cycle in and around various cactus plants, especially those in the Opuntia family. It relies on the cactus for both food and shelter. Females chew “wounds” in the cactus and lay eggs in the openings. The young beetles (grubs) feed inside until they emerge as adults.