Glochidium definition

glō-kĭdē-əm
Frequency:
(zool.) The parasitic larval stage of freshwater mussels (family Unionidae) which infests the gills, etc. of many fishes.
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The parasitic larva of most freshwater mussels, having hooks for attaching to the gills or other external parts of a host fish.
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(bot.) A barbed hair or bristle, as on certain cactuses or on the spore masses of ferns.
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(zoology) The larva or young of the mussel.

Glochidia were once believed to be parasites on the gills of the parents.

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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
glochidium
Plural:
glochidia

Origin of glochidium

  • New Latin glōchidium Greek glōkhīs barb of an arrow Latin -idium diminutive suff. (from Greek -idion)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Ancient Greek the point of an arrow.

    From Wiktionary