Oulema melanopus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Taxonomy: Polyphaga > Chrysomeloidea > Chrysomelidae > Oulema > Oulema melanopus

Common name: 

Cereal Leaf Beetle


Oulema melanopus s. lat.


Size: 4..3-5.3mm
Basic colour: Dark blue (elytra) and orange-red
Pattern colour: None
Number of spots: None
Pronotoum: Orange-red
Leg colour: Orange-red with dark tarsi
Confusion species: Oulema rufocyanea

Not separated from O. rufocyanea by British coleopterists until the 1990s. Therefore many records before this could be attributed to either species. For a map of this undifferentiated data see here.


Status: Widespread and often common, especially in England and Wales.
Habitat: Various
Host plant: Various cereals and grasses; oats and barley are preferred over wheat, which is in turn preferred over rye, maize and wild grasses.
Overwintering: Adults overwinter from September to April/May.
Food: Leaves of host plants.
Other notes: Very similar to O.rufocyanea, but usually larger with more convex elytra. Certain separation requires dissection of the aedeagus which has a thick flagellum in O. melanopus and a thin one in O. rufocyanea.


O'Connor, J.P. & Walsh, J. (2002). Notes on Oulema melanopus (L.) (Chrysomelidae) in Ireland. The Coleopterist 11(1): 17.
Marsh, R.J. (1999). Oulema melanopus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Chrysomelidae) in Yorkshire. The Coleopterist 8(3): 111.
Cox, M.L. (1995). Identification of the Oulema 'melanopus' species group (Chrysomelidae). The Coleopterist 4(2): 33.
Booth, R.G. (1994). Oulema 'melanopus' (Chrysomelidae) in Britain. The Coleopterist 3(1): 6.

Distribution (may take a minute to appear)