The Milarias Tortoise Beetle (Capnodis miliaris) is an insect in the Buprestidae family of tortoise beetles.
The Miliaris Tortoise Beetle is matt black with scattered large spots on its abdomen. It has black wing cases, called elytra. Each wing case (elytron) is covered with white wax and a number of small nodules or lumps. Its antennae are short.
It grows to about 3 centimetres (1 inch) long.
The Miliaris Tortoise Beetle is native to Russia and the Caucasus region of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. It prefers steppe regions and forest-steppes.
It lives inside the bark of fruit trees, near the roots. During winter, it hibernates in the soil.
It eats plant roots, leaves, buds, and shoots.
The female lays small, white eggs in tree roots. The eggs hatch into larvae, which become pupae. Each pupa metamorphoses into an adult beetle.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM