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Definition of FLEA BEETLE
: any of a subfamily (Alticinae, especially genera Alticia and Epitrix) of small chrysomelid beetles with legs adapted for leaping that feed on foliage and include some that are agricultural pests
First Known Use of FLEA BEETLE
Any member of the beetle subfamily Alticinae (family Chrysomelidae), found worldwide. It is tiny (less than 0.25 in. [6 mm] long) and dark or metallic in colour. The enlarged hind legs are adapted for jumping. Flea beetles are important pests of cultivated plants (e.g., grapes, cucumbers, melons, tobacco, potatoes, and tomatoes). The adults feed on the leaves, the larvae on the roots. Some flea beetles carry plant diseases (e.g., early potato blight).