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any of approximately 25,000 species of beetles (insect order Coleoptera) that occur throughout the world but are concentrated in the tropics. They are oval, short-legged, with the antennae about half the body length, and tend to be less than 12 mm (0.5 inch) long. Many are important leaf feeding pests that feed on crop and ornamental plants. The family is divided into numerous subfamilies.