This is one of the largest plant feeding families of beetles, with more than 2,000 species found in North America. Adult beetles are often brightly colored or metallic and 3 to 12 mm long. Leaf beetle larvae are soft- bodied and pigmented and usually feed on plant leaves along with the adults. Feeding damage by the more important landscape plant pests appears as patches of skeletonized leaf tissue where the beetles have eaten away all the plant tissue except the upper leaf epidermis.
Several species of leaf beetles can feed on trees and shrubs. Extensive feeding damage is usually preceded by small holes cut into leaves by the adult beetles or small areas of skeletonized feeding injuries made by adults or young larvae. By watching trees for these indications, you can anticipate the need to make an insecticide treatment before serious damage has occurred.