What did insect wings evolve from?

A bird’s or bat’s wings evolved out of their forelimbs. But all insects, winged and wingless, have the standard six limbs. What did insect wings evolve from?

Gill covers. Maybe.

This article from last March claims that wings are the result of two genes that were already present in insects, one that forms legs and another that forms shells.


There is much more info in the article.

Well what did the limbs that turned into wings evolve from? It all goes back to a single cell.

My point was that if wings evolved from legs, there would be six-legged non-flying insects and four-legged winged insects.

As far as we an tell, the limbs that gave rise to wings weren’t legs, they were gills. The same gill limbsexist today in mayfly larvae, cheliceratesand in many crustaceans.

So what we would expect to see is insects with 6 legs and 2 pair fewer gills. Of course since insects have long since lost their gills in the adult stage, we see that they are missing *all *their gill pairs.