Elytra (singular: elytron) are the forewings of certain insects. Elytra are rigid and cover the flexible hindwings when the insect is at rest.
Elytra are characteristic of insects in the Coleoptera order. Elytra do not play an active role in flight among flying species of Coleoptera, such as the ladybird: they simply rise to leave the hindwings freedom of movement. Other species of Coleoptera, on the other hand, do not fly: their elytra are immobile on their upper abdomen, which is thus protected by a solid shell. This is the case of the golden beetle, for example.