Elytron

What is an elytron? What are elytra?

Elytra are the wing cases of beetles. Wing cases are also called sheaths or shards.

One wing sheath is called an elytron. The plural is elytra.

Rhesus Capricorn Beetle

Rhesus Capricorn Beetle

 

An elytron is a hard, protective wing case for a beetle’s hindwings (back wings), which are used for flying.

To fly, a beetle opens the elytra and extends its hindwings. So, beetles fly with their elytra open.

Elytra

Elytra (wing cases)

Photo: Beetle (Melolontha melolontha) by Mario Sarto, 30 April 2004

 

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.