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Rainbow Leaf Beetle (Chrysolina cerealis)

The rainbow leaf beetle is a member of the family of leaf beetles. It is endangered in certain parts of the world like the United Kingdom, where it is protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Its population in Wales, where the beetle thrived in certain regions, is also on the verge of decline, with just 1000 adults reported in and around the Snowdon mountain ranges. 

Rainbow Leaf Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Chrysomelidae
  • Genus: Chrysolina 
  • Scientific name: Chrysolina cerealis

Physical Description and Identification

Adult 

Size: 5.5 – 10 mm

Color: While the color of these beetles varies, they are generally metallic green covered with three blue and two longitudinal red stripes. When light falls on their body, a golden hue is reflected, resulting in their common name. Their underparts appear dark blue.

The color varies in their subspecies. One of them, namely the Chrysolina cerealis mixta, has metallic blue elytra and pronotum.

Other Characteristic Features: Females tend to be larger than males.

Chrysolina cerealis
Snowdon Beetle

Larva

The larvae feed on the flowers of the host plant, though if not available, they can feed on the leaves as well.

Pupa

After fully maturing, the larva enters the pupal phase that takes place underground, close to the base of the host plant.

Egg

Females lay their eggs around June on grasses like the common bent or the sheep’s fescue.

Quick Facts

Other namesSnowdon beetle
LifespanNot recorded
DistributionMost Eurasian countries ranging from Norway and northern Italy to Snowdonia in the west to Ussuri in the east
HabitatForests, meadows, montane grasslands, woodlands, and wastelands
Seasons activeApril – September
Diet of adultsFlowers and leaves of wild thyme

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

No known damage is caused by these beetles.

Did You Know

  • This beetle has several subspecies – Chrysolina cerealis cerealisChrysolina cerealis cyaneoaurataChrysolina cerealis megerleiChrysolina cerealis mixta, and Chrysolina cerealis rufolineata.
  • Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus first described this species in 1767.
Rainbow Leaf Beetle Picture
Rainbow Leaf Beetle Wings

Image Source: i.pinimg.com, ourbreathingplanet.com,i.guim.co.uk, s3.amazonaws.com, 64.media.tumblr.com

The rainbow leaf beetle is a member of the family of leaf beetles. It is endangered in certain parts of the world like the United Kingdom, where it is protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Its population in Wales, where the beetle thrived in certain regions, is also on the verge of decline, with just 1000 adults reported in and around the Snowdon mountain ranges. 

Rainbow Leaf Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult 

Size: 5.5 – 10 mm

Color: While the color of these beetles varies, they are generally metallic green covered with three blue and two longitudinal red stripes. When light falls on their body, a golden hue is reflected, resulting in their common name. Their underparts appear dark blue.

The color varies in their subspecies. One of them, namely the Chrysolina cerealis mixta, has metallic blue elytra and pronotum.

Other Characteristic Features: Females tend to be larger than males.

Chrysolina cerealis
Snowdon Beetle

Larva

The larvae feed on the flowers of the host plant, though if not available, they can feed on the leaves as well.

Pupa

After fully maturing, the larva enters the pupal phase that takes place underground, close to the base of the host plant.

Egg

Females lay their eggs around June on grasses like the common bent or the sheep’s fescue.

Quick Facts

Other namesSnowdon beetle
LifespanNot recorded
DistributionMost Eurasian countries ranging from Norway and northern Italy to Snowdonia in the west to Ussuri in the east
HabitatForests, meadows, montane grasslands, woodlands, and wastelands
Seasons activeApril – September
Diet of adultsFlowers and leaves of wild thyme

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

No known damage is caused by these beetles.

Did You Know

  • This beetle has several subspecies – Chrysolina cerealis cerealisChrysolina cerealis cyaneoaurataChrysolina cerealis megerleiChrysolina cerealis mixta, and Chrysolina cerealis rufolineata.
  • Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus first described this species in 1767.
Rainbow Leaf Beetle Picture
Rainbow Leaf Beetle Wings

Image Source: i.pinimg.com, ourbreathingplanet.com,i.guim.co.uk, s3.amazonaws.com, 64.media.tumblr.com

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