Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Chrysomelidae - Leaf Beetles

Beetle on Cattail Leaf - Plateumaris Cryptocephalus a. arizonensis Schaeffer - Cryptocephalus arizonensis Psylliodes punctulata Western Striped Cucumber Beetle? - Acalymma trivittatum Disonycha caroliniana? - Disonycha possible flea beetle - Calligrapha californica Western Spotted Cucumber Beetle - Diabrotica undecimpunctata Lilioceris cheni
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Chrysomeloidea (Long-horned and Leaf Beetles)
Family Chrysomelidae (Leaf Beetles)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Alticinae now a tribe (Alticini) of Galerucinae
Bruchidae now a subfamily of Chrysomelidae
Chlamisinae now a tribe (Fulcidacini) of Cryptocephalinae
Clytrinae now a tribe (Clytini) of Cryptocephalinae
Hispinae now part of the Cassidinae
Explanation of Names
Chrysomelidae Latreille 1802
With ~35,000 described spp. in >2100 genera and up to 60,000 estimated spp. worldwide and ca. 1900 valid species and subspecies in ~220 genera in our area, this is one of the five largest beetle families and second largest (after Curculiondiae) among phytophagous beetle families(1)(2); 10 out of 12 subfamilies are represented in NA(3)
Overview of our faunaTaxa not yet in the guide are marked (*); taxonomy adapted from(2)
Subfamily Bruchinae
   Subtribe Caryedontina Caryedon
   Subtribe Amblycerina Amblycerus
   Subtribe Spermophagina Zabrotes
Tribe Bruchini
   Subtribe Bruchina Bruchus
   Subtribe Megacerina Megacerus
Subfamily Donaciinae
Subfamily Criocerinae
Tribe Lemiini Lema · Neolema · Oulema
Subfamily Cassidinae
Subfamily Chrysomelinae
   Incertae sedis Cadiz
Subfamily Galerucinae
Tribe Galerucini
     Section Coelomerites Monocesta · Coraia · Derospidea · Trirhabda · Miraces
     Section Galerucites Galeruca
Tribe Luperini
   Subtribe Diabroticina
     Section Cerotomites Neobrotica · Cyclotrypema · Cerotoma
     Section Phyllecthrites Phyllecthris · Luperosoma
     Section Trachyscelidites Trachyscelida
   Subtribe Luperina
     Section Phyllobroticites Phyllobrotica
     Section Exosomites Pteleon
     Section Monoleptites Eusattodera · Metrioidea
Subfamily Lamprosomatinae
Subfamily Cryptocephalinae
   Subtribe Monachulina Lexiphanes
Tribe Clytrini
   Subtribe Clytrina Anomoea · Smaragdina
   Subtribe Babiina Babia · Urodera · Saxinis
Subfamily Eumolpinae
     Section Metachromites Metachroma
     Section Typophorites Paria · Typophorus
     Section Scelodontites Graphops
Tribe Eumolpini
     Section Eumolpites Eumolpus
     Section Corynodites Chrysochus
Tribe Adoxini
     Section Leprotites Xanthonia · Demotina · Fidia · Colaspidea
     Section Adoxites Bromius
helpful online keys good for most of the southeast provided in(4)(5)(6)
throughout the world except the antarctic and most of the high arctic(1)
Chrysomelids are phytophagous and are among the most diverse and conspicuous insect families on plants. The adults feed on living plant material, usually consuming leaves or sometimes various flower parts including pollen. Many chrysomelid larvae feed on leaves, but a great number are subterranean, attacking roots and underground stems.(1)
Most NA species are probably univoltine(1)
Most are fairly specific in host preferences, being either monophagous or more commonly oligophagous(1)(7)
Life Cycle
most Nearctic spp. overwinter as adults; larvae have a wide variety of life histories(1)
A fair number of leaf beetles are of economic importance; some are used to control invasive weeds(1)
Internet References
Leaf Beetles of Texas - Mike Quinn 2015
Works Cited
1.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
2.Catalog of Leaf Beetles of America North of Mexico
Ed Riley, Shawn Clark, and Terry Seeno. 2003. Coleopterists Society.
3.Family-group names in Coleoptera (Insecta)
Bouchard P. et al. 2011. ZooKeys 88: 1–972.
4.Leaf and Seed Beetles of South Carolina
Janet Ciegler. 2007. Clemson University.
5.Identification guide to the Leaf Beetles of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
6.The leaf beetles of Alabama
Edward Balsbaugh and Kirby Hays. 1972. Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University.
7.Host plants of leaf beetle species occurring in the United States and Canada
Clark et al. 2004. Coleopterists Society, Special Publication no. 2, 476 pp.