Today's photo was taken in early May last year. This little beetle (I believe it is a blister beetle) was visiting the buds on my lilac bush in the late afternoon.
He caught me off guard when he spread his wings to fly away. You can see in the photo that a beetle has two pair of wings. The outer wings, called lytra, are hard and stiff and cover the inner wings when the beetle is at rest, explains the University of Kentucky Entomology Department. These wings protect the beetle and make him look like he has a hard shell. The second set of wings are hidden under the elytra, but when the beetle wants to fly away, he spreads the outer wings and uses the second set of wings to take to the skies.