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Calligrapha Beetle (Calligrapha spp)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Calligrapha Beetle

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Image Credit: McD. family
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Image Credit: Bob T. from Albuquerque, NM
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Image Credit: Beth B. from Jericho Center, VT
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Image Credit: Heather O.
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Image Credit: Troy D. taken in Greenville, ME
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Image Credit: Roger B.
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Image Credit: Diane R.
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Image Credit: Bob T.
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The intricate black markings on the elytra of Calligrapha Beetles resemble the delicate script usually reserved for fine stationery.

Updated: 01/02/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Calligrapha Beetles come in a variety of colors: red, orange, green, yellow and hues somewhere inbetween. They gleam almost like jewels. There are many species, each with a unique pattern of black markings the elytra (wing coverings). Dashes, lines, dots and curves meander with careful symmetry over both sides. They are small and round, and can fly. They are Leaf Beetles, feeding on plant tissue. It is possible for this beetle to eat all the leaves of a small plant, but older, more established plants can recover from their feeding. Young plants, however, may need population control assistance in order to survive any vigorous beetle activity. Despite this, Calligrapha Beetles are not considered a significant pest in gardens and are usually appreciated for their distinct color and motif. ©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Shiny insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Chrysomelidae
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          Genus: Calligrapha
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            Species: spp

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Calligrapha spp
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 12mm (0.35" to 0.47")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; ivory; red; yellow; orange; brown
Descriptors: spotted; two-toned; flying; leaf; lined; shiny; metallic

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 9mm (0.4in) and 12mm (0.5in)
Lo: 9mm
Md: 10.5mm
Hi: 12mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Calligrapha Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Calligrapha Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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