Abstract. The relative size, orientation, and degrees of sclerotization of the tibial flexor and extensor tendons are compared in nineteen orders of insects. The sclerotized, independently movable tibial flexor sclerite, known previously only from Alticinae and Carabidae (Coleoptera), is found in some other Coleoptera, Megaloptera, Neuroptera, Hymenoptera and Heteroptera. The Heteroptera also have another small sclerite at the base of the tibial extensor tendon. The tibial flexor sclerite is presumed to provide additional strength and leverage to the flexion of the tibia in certain insect groups; it may also provide protection for the ventral side of the femoro-tibial joint of the leg.