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n. pl. el·y·tra (-trə)
Either of the leathery or chitinous forewings of a beetle or a related insect, serving to encase the membranous hind wings used in flight. Also called wing case.

[New Latin, from Greek elutron, sheath; see wel- in Indo-European roots.]

el′y·troid′ (-troid′) adj.


(ˈɛlɪˌtrɒn) or


n, pl -tra (-trə)
(Zoology) either of the horny front wings of beetles and some other insects, which cover and protect the hind wings
[C18: from Greek elutron sheath, covering]
ˈelyˌtroid, ˈelytrous adj


(ˈɛl ɪˌtrɒn)

n., pl. -tra (-trə).
one of the pair of hardened forewings of certain insects, as beetles, forming a protective covering for the rear wings.
[1745–55; < New Latin < Greek élytron literally, cover, case, akin to eilýein to enfold, wrap]
el′y•trous (-trəs) adj.
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When closed, the elytron protects the hind wing. The elytra are opened for flight.


Plural elytra
Either of the modified forewings of a beetle or related insect that encase the thin hind wings used in flight.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.elytron - either of the horny front wings in beetles and some other insects which cover and protect the functional hind wings
wing - a movable organ for flying (one of a pair)
References in periodicals archive ?
Elytra yellowish white with 3 brownish black longitudinal bands, one on each elytron and one on mid dorsal line of elytra (Fig.
gregaria, including the morphometric ratios of F/C (see above) and E/F (length of the elytron [fore wing) divided by length of the hind femur).
The adult presents a dark brown head, yellowish-brown body and elytron, and measures approximately 12mm in length and 7 mm in width (PEREIRA & SALVADORI, 2006).
Diagnosis: There are 2 specimens, 1 with only a single elytron, the other being only an anterior fragment.
Color was analyzed in a 2.5 mm diameter circle located in the center of the right elytron of each insect by using the histogram function of ImageJ.
Sunnyvale, CA, April 04, 2015 --(PR.com)-- Foamlinx LLC and WeCutFoam have collaborated with Elytron Aircraft LLC to fabricate Elytron's newly designed two-seater VTOL (Vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft.
There is variation in the fraction of the elytron palette simply covered by red versus black color.
The angel Flit III, 2009, hangs horizontally on the wall with its legs drawn up to its chest, recalling a mantislike creature with one elytron, which could also be the chrysalis that once contained its still-developing body.
Argyris Calbaris; NOTHING IS EVER LOST; Elytron Publications / Atlas Books (Fiction) $17.50 ISBN: 9789608894075