Head structures of the leaf mining larva of the chrysomelid species Podagricomela shirahatai are described and illustrated. Internal and external structures were reconstructed three dimensionally based on image stacks obtained with microcomputed tomography. The larval head is characterized by prognathism, a dorsoventrally compressed shape, a flattened maxillolabial complex, a completely reduced coronal suture, and the presence of a deep, V-shaped posterior emargination of the head capsule. Internal structures are not distinctly affected by leaf mining. The cephalic features are compared with conditions found in surface feeding and root feeding alticine larvae and also with characters of chrysomeline larvae of Chrysomela populi Linnaeus. Possible correlations between modifications of the larval head and different feeding behaviors are discussed. Characters are also discussed with respect to possible phylogenetic implications. Some derived features are apparently due to phylogenetic constraints. Apomorphies characterizing alticine larvae with distinctly different life habits are the loss of M. frontoepharyngalis (M. 9), the origin of M. tentoriostipitalis (M. 18) from the head capsule, two insertions of M. tentoriopraementalis inferior (M. 29) and the reduction of stemmata. The study underlines that the anatomical study of chrysomeloid larvae is not only highly desirable in a phylogenetic context, but also crucial for understanding the evolution of different life strategies in this extremely successful group of Coleoptera.