Super-slow-mo video reveals how ladybug wings unfold

Because ladybug hindwings are covered by an opaque outer shell called an elytra, scientists were not sure how the wings' folding mechanism worked until Kazuya Saito created a clear replacement shell that allowed them to film the process in super slow-motion.

Via the paper by Saito's team:

Three-dimensional models of the hindwings in C. septempunctata reconstructed from the results of micro-CT. (A, Upper Left) Unfolded hindwing (from the underside). (A, Lower Right) Slice view on the white line is shown. Compared with other parts, the cross-sections of the main supporting veins (SV1, SV2) have no difference in thickness but have a characteristic curved shape. (B) Folded hindwing. The main supporting veins are bent into a cylindrical shape (white circles) similar to the shape of a tape spring.

Ladybugs fold their wings like origami (YouTube / New Scientist) via NPR

Image: Michelle Tribe