Leaf beetles, widespread in all parts of the world with more than 20000 known species, are pretty insects with very diverse forms: often globular or hemispherical, they are adorned with bright colors, frequently metallic. The antennae, shorter than those of the long-horned beetles, seldom as long as the body, are often thickened gradually towards their ends; in some species, they are serrated or even thorny.
Leaf beetle larvae are somewhat are fat-bodied and thick-set, or more or less lengthened and flattened. Their color is variable. They are always equipped with six more or less developed legs. These larvae are phytophagous and live at the expense of various plants, feeding from the parenchyma of the leaves, or on the roots (flea beetles). The larvae of some species are even aquatic, and feed on water plants; they attach themselves via respiratory horns to the vascular system of the plants.
Adults are usually located on the plants where the larvae developed. Some species are flower-dwelling. Leaf beetles are in general harmful to plants, a famous example being the Colorado beetle: