Flea Beetle

a Chrysomelidae in s.f. Galerucinae, from Mt. Kenya Forest, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Feeding on an inflorescence of a Cyperus sp. along a sunny trail in Mt. Kenya Forest Preserve, Kenya. June 2017.

Leaf Beetles chew on the leaves of plants often in exposed areas where birds or lizards could easily predate them. Many leaf beetles are also brightly colored, which should make them even easier to see and capture. However, many are laced with repelant compounds derived from the plants and are thus protected from many insectivores.

In addition flea beetles have another tactic to avoid predation - they can jump after which they drop down into rank vegetation making them almost impossible to find again.

Chrysomelidae -- Leaf Beetle Family
Galerucinae -- Skeletonizing Leaf Beetles

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 28 April 2018.