In general, larvae of Cephaloleia Chevrolat are rounded oval, longer than wide, with even, regular margins formed by wide expansion of all segments from prothorax to caudal abdominal segment forming a scale-like shield; head and legs concealed by broadly flattened margins; expansions extending far forward in front of the head for a distance much greater than the width or length of the head, beyond the thorax at the sides to a width greater than ½ the width of the body proper and beyond the abdomen at the sides to a width wider on each side than the width of abdomen proper, width at caudal end nearly as great as at anterior end; expansions narrowly laminate; segments more or less distinct, sides plicate; elevated along central longitudinal medial line which is wider after the middle to the prothorax and narrows on tergites 7-9. Divisions between the head and the prothorax and abdominal tergites 7-9 are not clearly defined. Dorsal surface convex. Head retracted; antenna with three antennomeres. Legs consist of two distinct segments plus base; ending with a single strong recurved claw.
Most Cephaloleia species are generally similar in appearance. Some species are easily recognized by the body shape or color pattern. Other species can only be distinguished by the sculpture of the head. Important sculpturing is the degree and strength of punctation on the vertex and the presence, absence or shape of sulci or carinae. The sulci or carinae sometimes continue between the antennal bases and onto the frons. Characters on the antennae are also important. The relative lengths of the first three antennomeres and the presence or absence of triangular projections on antennomeres two to four distinguish a number of species. Antennal projections are not used in the key for some species since the presence or absence of projections is a sexual character in these species. If the pronotal margin is canaliculate (channelled or grooved) or not is extremely useful with some species. Male and female genitalia are not useful for species determinations.