noun (plural elytra /-trə/)Entomology
Each of the two wing cases of a beetle.
- A typical male will clasp the lateral edges of the female's elytra with his prothoracic and mesothoracic legs, while his metathoracic legs are extended behind to serve as stabilizers when they drag on the substrate.
- Because beetle elytra may be common fossils in Pleistocene deposits, they are often important sources of data on Pleistocene environments.
- However, familiarity with potential prey items greatly enhances recognition of even soft-bodied prey from diagnostic indigestible body parts such as wings, elytra, mandibles, or chelicerae.
- Example sentences
- Pachyplagioides Gross is redefined and its highly elytrous female is described for the first time.
- The forewings are completely elytrous (hard and leathery) and meet in a straight line down.
Mid 18th century (denoting a sheath or covering, specifically that of the spinal cord): from Greek elutron 'sheath'.
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