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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.
el′y·troid′ (-troid′) adj.
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
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.
When closed, the elytron protects the hind wing. The elytra are opened for flight.
Either of the modified forewings of a beetle or related insect that encase the thin hind wings used in flight.