A Guide to the Insects of the Coal Oil Point Reserve

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Funded in part by the UCSB Pearl Chase Fund

Last updated 08/15/2005
  Insects of Coal Oil Point > Guide > Coleoptera - Beetles > Chrysomelidae

Chrysomelidae - Leaf beetles

As their common name suggests, leaf beetles eat plants. Most are colorful, conspicuous beetles, frequently restricted in their feeding to one or a few similar plant species.

While While 10 species of leaf beetles are known from Coal Oil Point, none seem to be restricted to coastal habitats. Some, like the Cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata) are very widespread. One species of particular interest is the eucalyptus feeding Trachymela sloanei. This species was newly (and accidentally) introduced to our area from its native Australia in just the past few years. For fans of non-native eucalyptus, this beetle is considered a pest. For others who consider eucalyptus itself an invasive pest, the beetle is a welcome ally. A beautiful metallic green species, Trirhabda luteucinete, is abundant in the spring time and can be seen, as adult or larvae, on coyote brush, its host plant.

Chrysomelid Photos
(click to enlarge)

Diabrotica undecimpunctata

Trirhabda luteocincta

Trachymela sloanei

Diachus auratus

Altica bimarginata

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