This species is present in most Eurasian countries, from Norway to northern Italy, and from Ussuri in the east to Snowdonia (Wales) in the west. These leaf beetles can be found in forests, woodlands, meadows, wastelands and montane grasslands over 600m above sea level.
Chrysolina cerealis can reach a length of 5.5–10 millimetres (0.22–0.39 in). Females are typically larger than males. Coloration of the pronotum and the elytra is quite variable, usually it is metallic green with three blue and red longitudinal stripes, with golden reflections (hence the common name).
It is endangered in certain parts of the world like the United Kingdom, where it is protected by the Wildlife and Countrycol3 Act 1981.
Within Wales, C. cerealis is found at only a few sites on the western flanks of Snowdon, and perhaps in Cwm Idwal in the neighbouring Glyderau.
The species has not been found since 1980 in Cwm Idwal, and some reports consider the Snowdon population of about 1000 adults to be in “serious decline”, while others say that there is no evidence of a decline, but that the species may always have been rare.