One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: †(in a strepsipteran) a pseudohalter (obsolete). Later: (in a dipteran fly) a membranous scale or minute appendage anterior to the halter. Usually in plural.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in John Westwood (1805–1893), entomologist and palaeographer. Originally in plural in form praehalteres from scientific Latin praehalteres prae- + halteres; subsequently also in inferred singular form prehalter.
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