There are an estimated 40,000 species of chrysomelids, or leaf beetles, worldwide. These biologically interesting and often colorful organisms, such as the tortoise beetles, have a broad range of life histories and fascinating adaptations. For example, there are chrysomelids with shortened wings (brachypterous) and elytra (brachelytrous), other species are viviparous, and yet other leaf beetles have complicated anti predator-parasitoid defenses. Some species, such as corn rootworms (several species in the genus Diabrotica) constitute major agricultural crop pests.
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