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Insects and other arthropods

Leaf beetles

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Description

Most leaf beetles are small – less than 1.2 cm long – but a few species can reach 2 cm. Their elytra (hardened wings) are often smooth and shiny, but occasionally have distinctive shapes or may be either ridged or pitted. They come in a variety of colours.

The legs are a distinguishing characteristic of these insects: the final heart-shaped segment, just before the claw, is bilobed. This segment is covered with special hairs that allow the beetles to walk along waxy stems and leaves.

Life cycle

Leaf beetle larvae resemble maggots. They turn into pupae before becoming adults.

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