Banner picture © Isaac Arias-Céspedes (University of Costa Rica)



The superfamily Chrysomeloidea comprises several families of phytophagous (plant-eating) and xylophagous (wood-eating) beetles. Members include longhorn beetles, seed beetles and leaf beetles of which some of the better known species (e.g. the Colorado beetle) are known pests to crops and trees. With an estimated diversity of more than 70,000 species and a stunning variety in morphology and life strategy, this is a challenging group to study.

The work group Chrysomel’ID strives to enhance the knowledge on taxonomy, diversity, distribution and ecology of this wonderful group. We are active in projects covering a broad geographic range, including Central America, South-East Asia and Africa. Projects include field surveys, museum digitization projects and taxonomic descriptions of species new to science. We currently are working on a small field guide to identify the longhorns of Cusuco National Park, Honduras.

It is that range of biodiversity that we must care for - the whole thing - rather than just one or two stars. David Attenborough

Chrysomel’ID is the product of the enthusiasm and the fondness of beetles of Martijn Van Roie and Merlijn Jocqué. We are always looking for enthusiastic people with or without beetle knowledge that are keen to contribute. If you wish to join the work group click ‘join us’ or contact us.

Current projects

 Cusuco NP Honduras

 2020 – now  

Martijn Van Roie, Merlijn Jocqué, Jan Mertens, Antonio Santos-Silva

To facilitate the identification of longhorn beetles in Cusuco national Park, Honduras, we’re preparing a field guide. This field guide will combine pictures of all currently known species from the park with notes on identification, and will be updated regularly.

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)

 2018 – now  

 Martijn Van Roie, Jonas Merckx, Wouter Dekoninck

While most of the specimens in the RBINS are deposited in the collections, additional unsorted material from expeditions is available in supplementary collections. The RBINS contains a large quantity of unidentified leaf beetles in the supplementary collections, possibly with some species new to science.  For this project we look through parts of the supplementary collections for tortoise beetles (Cassidinae), a subfamily of leaf beetles. Specimens will be identified with Lukáš Sekerka, an expert on this subfamily, and incorporated in the collections. This study will generate additional information on the distribution of tortoise beetles and will make this part of the collection accessible to third parties.

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)

 2019 – now  

 Martijn Van Roie, Camille Locatelli, Willem-Jan Emsens, Babette Muyshondt, Wouter Dekoninck

A type specimen is the reference voucher for a species. Type material plays a crucial role in the identifications of species and description of new species. Many species were described a long time ago and the location of type specimens is not always clear. The RBINS collections house hundreds of type specimens of leaf beetles, but a clear overview is lacking. In this project we will catalogue, validate and photograph the leaf beetles type material in the RBINS collections. This overview will be an important contribution to the study of this fascinating group.

Finalised projects

The northern coastal area of South Carolina

 2021 – 2023

 Martijn Van Roie, Shawn Clark, Alexander Konstantinov, David Furth, Adelita Linzmeier

 Van Roie M., Clark S., Konstantinov A., Furth D., Linzmeier A. 2023. A paradox indeed: description of genitalia and clarification of the subtribal classification of Pachyonychis paradoxus Clark and Pachyonychus paradoxus Melsheimer (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Alticini). Zootaxa, vol. 5227, no. 1, pp. 127-136, doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.5227.1.6.

The flea beetles (Chrysomelidae – Alticini) Pachyonychis paradoxus Clark and Pachyonychus paradoxus Melsheimer are two separate species which share the same species epithet and nearly the same genus name. The subtribal classification of P. paradoxus Clark raised doubts because of the species rather unusual morphological shape. In this study, we dissected and describe genitalia of both species, which in fact validated their current subtribal classification. This serves as a small piece of the puzzle in solving the taxonomy of the subtribe Oedionychina.


 2020 – 2022  

 Alexander Konstantinov, Martijn Van Roie, David Furth, Shawn Clark, Edward Riley

 Konstantinov A., Van Roie M., Furth D., Clark S.M., Riley E.D. 2022. Flea beetles of the West Indies: Subtribe Oedionychina Chapuis 1875, key to genera, new combinations, synonymy, checklist, and description of new genera and species (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini). Journal of Insect Biodiversity, vol. 33, no. 1, doi: 10.12976/jib/2022.33.1.1.

Oedionychina is a subtribe of flea beetles (Chrysomelidae – Alticini) of which the members are easily recognizable by their relatively large body, confused punctuation of their elytra and globosely swollen hind tarsomeres. Especially in the Neotropical region, this is a very diverse group and in need of revision. This study provides a first step in disentangling this interesting group.

 Cusuco NP Honduras

 2014 – 2021

 Antonio Santos-Silva, Martijn Van Roie, Merlijn Jocqué

 Santos-Silva A., Van Roie M. & Jocqué M. 2021. Longhorned woodboring beetles (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae) from Cusuco National Park, Honduras: new species, new records, and revalidation. European Journal of Taxonomy  764: 37–61.

During our surveys in the cloud forests of Cusuco National Park, Honduras, we found four new species of longhorn beetles. We described these species and named them after four Honduran environmental activists to raise awareness for the environmental challenges in the country.

Bealanana District, Madagascar

 2019 – 2021  

 Thierry Bouyer, Alain Drumont, Lily-Arison Rene De Roland, Dan Slootmaekers, Jiri Pirkl, John Mittermeier, Dale Wright, Merlijn Jocqué

Notes on a small collection of Prioninae from North-East Madagascar with the description of a new Schizodontus Quentin & Villiers, 1974 (Cerambycidae, Closterini) During a rapid biodiversity assessment in an isolated forest fragment in northern Madagascar a new species of Schizodontus was collected at the light trap and described here. Forest habitats are under serious pressure in Madagascar and in dire need of protection.

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)

 2018 – 2019  

 Frederik De Wint, Ayse Gungor, Charlotte Huyghe, Martijn Van Roie, Wouter Dekoninck, Lukáš Sekerka

 Van Roie M., De Wint F., Güngor A., Huyghe C., Dekoninck W. & Sekerka L. 2019An annotated checklist of the leaf beetles (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) from El Salvador, with additions from the Bechyné collection in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. ZooKeys 856: 137-196.

The RBINS collection includes leaf beetle specimens from El Salvador which were identified by J. Bechyné. As an expert in entomology, Bechyné studied numerous (Neotropical) Chrysomelidae between 1942 and 1978. This valuable reference collection will help compile a preliminary checklist of El Salvador’s Chrysomelidae, a poorly known species group in the region.

 Cusuco NP Honduras

 2014 – 2018

 Antonio Santos-Silva, Noël Mal, Martijn Van Roie, Merlijn Jocqué

Santos-Silva A., Mal N., Van Roie M. & Jocqué M. 2018. A new species of Derobrachus Audinet-Serville, 1832 (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Prioninae) from a cloud forest in HondurasZootaxa 4422(3): 395–402.

A new species of prionid longhorn beetle was discovered during our surveys in Cusuco National Park, Honduras. This species was abundant on light traps in the cloud forests. It was aptly named after its location of discovery. The frequent discoveries of new species in cloud forests call for better protection of these highly endangered habitats.

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)

 2017 – 2018

 Martijn Van Roie, Jonas Merckx, Jesús Gomèz-Zurita, Wouter Dekoninck

Merckx J., Van Roie M., Gomèz-Zurita J. & Dekoninck W. 2018From theory to practice: using a photographic inventory of museum collections to facilitate species identificationsBiodiversity Informatics 13: 38–48.

A pilot study was set up to test our digitization method by digitizing one specific genus: Calligrapha (Coleoptera – Chrysomelidae). Most species within this genus can be identified by the markings on their elytra, which made it possible for Dr. Gomèz-Zurita to identify all specimens based on photographic material alone. This allowed for more efficient and correct sorting of the museum specimens and showed how our method could also improve collaboration with experts abroad by reducing costs and the ability to plan taxonomic research more.


Alexander Konstantinov – Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (USNM)
David Furth (USNM) – Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (USNM)
Isaac Arias-Céspedes – University of Costa Rica