Bug Fest Philly ’09 is underway and featuring the adorable cactus beetle.

Guests are invited to come hungry since there will be a cooking demo of how to prepare grasshoppers, crickets and dragonflies.

Oops, that’s not the part I was looking for…

Other bugs of interest will be Cactus Beetles, which use cactuses for both food and protection

That’s more like it. No photos, so let’s go to the google and see what we can come up with.

Here we have a beetle in the collection of the St. Louis Zoo.

cactus_longhorn_beetle_sm

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.

Nasty looking thing.