A forked swimming limb of a crustacean, five pairs of which are typically attached to the abdomen. Also called swimmeret.
- In contrast, arthropods such as the lobster possess distinct maxillipeds, pereopods, pleopods, and uropod.
- Occasional specimens show preservation of delicate structures such as pleopods and antennae/antennules.
- The eggs can be kept in open brood pouches or attached to the pleopods of the female, as in pleocyematan decapods, or freely released in the environment, as in penaeid shrimps.
Mid 19th century: from Greek plein 'swim, sail' + pous, pod- 'foot'.
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