Leaf beetle

Leaf beetle

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Beetles in the family Chrysomelidae are commonly known as leaf beetles. This is a family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 of over 35,000 species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 in more than 2,500 genera
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

, one of the largest and most commonly encountered of all beetle families.

Leaf beetles are partially recognizable by their tarsal formula
Tarsal formula
Tarsal formula is the number of segments of the tarsi, which has 3 numbers a-b-c, starting with the fore leg , then the middle leg , then the hind leg . For example, a tarsal formula of "5-5-4" means there are 5 segments in the fore leg's tarsi, 5 segments in the middle leg's tarsi, and 4 segments...

, which appears to be 4-4-4, but is actually 5-5-5. They are distinguished with difficulty from long-horned beetles (family Cerambycidae) by the antennae
Antenna (biology)
Antennae in biology have historically been paired appendages used for sensing in arthropods. More recently, the term has also been applied to cilium structures present in most cell types of eukaryotes....

 not arising from frontal tubercle
A tubercle is generally a wart-like projection, but it has slightly different meaning depending on which family of plants or animals it is used to refer to....

s. Adult and larva
A larva is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically have a larval phase of their life cycle...

l leaf beetles feed on all sorts of plant tissue. Many are economically important pests of agriculture, for example the Colorado potato beetle
Colorado potato beetle
The Colorado potato beetle , also known as the Colorado beetle, the ten-striped spearman, the ten-lined potato beetle or the potato bug, is an important pest of potato crops. It is approximately 10 mm long, with a bright yellow/orange body and five bold brown stripes along the length of each...

 (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), the asparagus beetle
Asparagus beetle
Crioceris or asparagus beetle is a genus of the family Chrysomelidae of beetles. The name is neo Latin from Greek κριός, ram and κέρας, horn.-Species:*Crioceris asparagi , common asparagus beetle...

 (Crioceris asparagi), the cereal leaf beetle
Cereal leaf beetle
The cereal leaf beetle is a coleopter, belonging to the family of Chrysomelidae, and an agricultural pest and biological control success story. The beetle is mostly blue-black in color, with an area of deep red just behind the head...

 (Oulema melanopus), and various flea beetle
Flea beetle
Flea beetles is a general name applied to the small, jumping beetles of the leaf beetle family . They make up the tribe Alticini, which is a part of the subfamily Galerucinae, though they were historically classified as a subfamily in their own right...



  • Subfamily Bruchinae Latreille, 1802
  • Subfamily Chrysomelinae
    The Chrysomelinae are a subfamily of leaf beetles . There are some 2000 species, found worldwide. The most well-known member is the notorious Colorado potato beetle .-Genera:* Alfius* Cecchiniola...

     Latreille, 1802
  • Subfamily Criocerinae
    The Criocerinae are a subfamily of the leaf beetles, or Chrysomelidae....

     Latreille, 1804
  • Subfamily Cryptocephalinae
    Cryptocephalinae is a subfamily of the leaf beetles , and belong to the group of case-bearing leaf beetles called the Camptosomata.The Chlamisini and Clytrini were formerly considered subfamilies of their own.-External links:*...

     Gyllenhal, 1813
  • Subfamily Donaciinae
    The Donaciinae are a subfamily of the leaf beetles, or Chrysomelidae, characterised by distinctly long antennae....

     Kirby, 1837
  • Subfamily Eumolpinae
    The Eumolpinae are a subfamily of the leaf beetles, or Chrysomelidae.-Genera:* Bedelia* Bromius* Callipta* Chloropterus* Chrysochares* Colaspidea* Colaspina* Colaspinella* Damasus* Eryxia* Eumolpus...

     Hope, 1840
  • Subfamily Galerucinae
    The Galerucinae are a large subfamily of the leaf beetles , containing about 5800 species. It includes the flea beetles in tribe Alticini....

     Latreille, 1802
  • Subfamily Hispinae
    The Hispinae are a subfamily of the leaf beetles, or Chrysomelidae. It includes both the traditional Hispines plus the former "cassidines", now split up within the Hispinae, including the tribe Cassidini, with a total of over 125 genera in numerous tribes....

     Gyllenhal, 1813
  • Subfamily Lamprosomatinae
    The Lamprosomatinae are a small subfamily of leaf beetles . They belong to the case-bearing Camptosomata. It conmtains the following genera :* Lamprosoma Kirby, 1818* Oomorphoides...

     Lacordaire, 1848
  • Subfamily Sagrinae Leach, 1815
  • Subfamily Spilopyrinae Chapuis, 1874

One of the present subfamilies (Bruchinae) was, until recently, considered a separate family, while two former subfamilies are presently considered families (Orsodacnidae
The Orsodacnidae are a small family of leaf beetles, previously included as a subfamily within the Chrysomelidae.-North American Genera:* Aulacoscelis* Janbechynea* Orsodacne...

 and Megalopodidae
The Megalopodidae are a small family of leaf beetles, previously included as a subfamily within the Chrysomelidae. One of its constituent subfamilies, Zeugophorinae, which contains a single genus, has also frequently been treated as a subfamily within Chrysomelidae...

). Other commonly recognized subfamilies have recently been grouped with other subfamilies, usually reducing them to tribal rank (e.g., the former Cassidinae, Alticinae, Chlamisinae, and Clytrinae).

External links

on the UF
University of Florida
The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a campus in Gainesville, Florida. The university traces its historical origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906...

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information...

 Featured Creatures Web site

External links