Chrysolina cerealis

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Chrysolina cerealis
Chrysolina cerealis (Linné, 1767).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Chrysomelidae
Genus: Chrysolina
Species: C. cerealis
Binomial name
Chrysolina cerealis
(Linnaeus, 1767)

Chrysolina cerealis, the rainbow leaf beetle or Snowdon beetle, is a brightly coloured Eurasian leaf beetle. It is found in montane grassland from Norway to northern Italy, and from Ussuri in the east to Snowdonia (Wales) in the west.[1] It lives on base-rich screes and lays its eggs on grasses such as Agrostis capillaris and Festuca ovina, although it mostly feeds on the wild thyme Thymus polytrichus,[2] preferring the flowers to the leaves. The beetle is 5.5–10 millimetres (0.22–0.39 in) long.[3] with elytra striped red, gold, green and blue.[2] Females are typically larger than males.[3]

In Wales[edit]

Within Wales, C. cerealis is found at only a few sites on the western flanks of Snowdon, and perhaps in Cwm Idwal in the neighbouring Glyderau.[2] The population is thought to be genetically distinct, and the species is classified as endangered in the UK and protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.[4] The species has not been found since 1980 in Cwm Idwal, and some reports consider the Snowdon population of about 1000 adults to be in "serious decline",[2] while others say that there is no evidence of a decline, but that the species may always have been rare.[3]


  1. ^ Lech Borowiec. "Chrysolina cerealis (Linnaeus, 1767)". 
  2. ^ a b c d Ben McCarthy & Kate Van Den Ende (2006). "Snowdon Beetle (Chrysolina cerealis)". Snowdonia National Park Authority. 
  3. ^ a b c "Chrysolina cerealis". ARKive. 
  4. ^ "Rainbow leaf beetle (Chrysolina cerealis)". UK Biodiversity Group Tranche 2 Action Plans – Volume IV: Invertebrates. 1999.