Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
Home > Encyclopedia of Science


An elytron is a modified hardened forewing in beetles, earwigs, and some bugs. The two elytra usually fit together like a case to protect the more delicate hindwings underneath. In order to fly the insect opens the elytra then extends the hindwings, and while in flight it holds the elytra open. In some groups, the elytra are fused together and thus the insect cannot fly, for example, ground beetles.

Related category