1774, plural of elytron "hardened wing of a pest," from Greek elytron "sheath," from elyein "to move round," from PIE root *wel- (3) "to show, roll," with derivatives discussing curved, enclosing objects (see volvox). Relevant: Elytroid.
(pl. ) of Elytrum
The males are very small, free-flying insects with the prothorax, mesothorax and elytra greatly reduced, the latter appearing as little, twisted strips, while the metathorax is relatively large, with its wings broad and capable of longitudinal folding.