- plural of elytron.
- one of the pair of hardened forewings of certain insects, as beetles, forming a protective covering for the posterior or flight wings.
Origin of elytron
Origin of elytrum
Examples from the Web for elytra
The elytra are soldered at the median edge, so that it cannot spread its wings to fly.The Industries of Animals
Scutellar angle: of elytra is next to the scutel when wing is expanded.Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology
John. B. Smith
Elytra entire at the sides; intermediate tibi with two spurs.
More, the wings are of the colour of the elytra, and without any white spots.Everyday Objects
W. H. Davenport Adams
Elytra also, as far as my observation goes, are never diaphanous.An Introduction to Entomology: Vol. III (of 4)
- either of the horny front wings of beetles and some other insects, which cover and protect the hind wings
Word Origin and History for elytra
1774, plural of elytron "hardened wing of an insect," from Greek elytron "sheath," from elyein "to roll round," from PIE root *wel- "to turn, roll," with derivatives referring to curved, enclosing objects (see volvox).
- Either of the modified forewings of a beetle or related insect that encase the thin hind wings used in flight.