One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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.’
- ‘Elytron length was measured with calipers from the apex to humeral edge of the left elytron to the nearest 0.05 mm.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The unique elytra may well be the reason for the beetles success.’
- ‘Because beetle elytra may be common fossils in Pleistocene deposits, they are often important sources of data on Pleistocene environments.’
Mid 18th century (denoting a sheath or covering, specifically that of the spinal cord): from Greek elutron ‘sheath’.
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