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NOTE: As of 2014, the California Beetle Project page is no longer updated. The original database and list of California beetles in the menu on the left will remain for the time being, but the information contained within is not necessarily current. SBMNH Entomology Curator Matthew L. Gimmel has divided up the function of the original database into two conceptual halves:

  1. The SBMNH Entomology specimen-level database, including all SBMNH beetle specimens included in the CBP database, which is now available (and ever-growing) through the ecdysis portal at

  2. A literature- (and available specimen-)based checklist.
  3. of the Coleoptera of California, which is being revised and re-compiled by Dr. Gimmel, and, as of January 2017, is about 85% complete.

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Last updated 01/16/2009

 California Beetle Project > Species Pages > Cryptocephalus castaneus


Scientific name: Cryptocephalus castaneus Leconte
Common name: Leaf beetle
    Order Coleoptera
    Superfamily Chrysomeloidea
    Family Chrysomelidae

Images (click to enlarge)

What it looks like: 3.9-5.3 mm in length. Its pronotum is creamy yellow to light orange with four broad, longitudinal, dark orange stripes. The elytra (wing covers) are creamy yellow with dark orange markings. Its legs are also dark orange with whitish hairs; mostly on the underside of the tarsi.

Where you'll find it: This beetle can be found in much of the southwestern U.S. including Santa Barbara County, CA.

Natural History: These leaf beetles live and feed on holly, wild licorice, alfalfa, walnut, blackberries and willow.

This page was written by Vanessa Gamero, a 2005 participant in the Quasars to Sea Stars teen program.

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