1, A), are usually convex above, with straight hind margins (dorsa); when the elytra are closed, the two hind margins come together along the mid-dorsal line of the body, forming a suture.
In many beetles the hindwings are reduced to mere vestiges useless for flight, or are altogether absent, and in such cases the two elytra are often fused together at the suture; thus organs originally intended for flight have been transformed into an armour-like covering for the beetle's hind-body.
The identification of the elytra of beetles with the fore-wings of other insects has indeed been questioned (1880) by F.
Meinert, who endeavoured to compare them with the tegulae of Hymenoptera, but the older view was securely established by the demonstration in pupal elytra by J.
Tower (1903), of nervures similar to those of the hind-wing, and by the proof that the small membranous structures present beneath the elytra of certain beetles, believed by Meinert to represent the whole of the true fore-wings, are in reality only the alulae.
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