Resilin-bearing wing vein joints in the dragonfly Epiophlebia superstes

Bioinspir Biomim. 2011 Dec;6(4):046006. doi: 10.1088/1748-3182/6/4/046006. Epub 2011 Oct 12.


In this study, we compared the dorsal and ventral patterns of three vein joint types and three types of resilin patches in the wings of the dragonfly Epiophlebia superstes. The joint types were classified according to their general structure and the resilin patch types according to their arrangement at joints and in the adjacent wing membrane. Resilin patches are found in both dorsal and ventral pleat valleys of the corrugated wings of E. superstes, which results in different patterns of resilin distribution on the dorsal and ventral sides of the wing. In addition to its probable function in conferring flexibility to stressed joints, resilin may also have a damping function. Our results suggest that resilin patches in the leading edge may be loaded in compression, whereas in the trailing area, they may be involved in angle widening and thus loaded in tension. Possible adaptations to the deformability of different areas of the wing, e.g. during the process of camber formation, are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Insect Proteins / analysis*
  • Insecta / anatomy & histology*
  • Insecta / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Wings, Animal / anatomy & histology*
  • Wings, Animal / metabolism*


  • Insect Proteins
  • resilin