Lady beetle in slow-motion

I sometimes wonder if a major reason why most people don't really get insects is the difference in pace between how we and how the insects move in the world.

Insects live faster than we do, their everyday motions an erratic, unintelligible blur to our sluggish perceptions.  But slow them down so that we can see them on their own terms, and they seem almost as different creatures, more deliberate, more wise, and certainly much less buggy.

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I'd like to know more aobut the mechanism by which the beetle locks its flight wings into the fully unfolded position. It is interesting that during the first full flap of the wings, the tips fold down on the down stroke, then up on the up stroke, then seem to lock into the flat position needed for flight.

By James C. Trager (not verified) on 22 Nov 2008 #permalink

If you removed the elytra would they still be able to fly or do the elytra have some stabilizing function during flight?