Definition of chelicera in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈlɪs(ə)rə/

noun (plural chelicerae /kəˈlɪs(ə)riː/)

Either of a pair of appendages in front of the mouth in arachnids and some other arthropods, usually modified as pincer-like claws. Compare with chela1.
Example sentences
  • The front pair of appendages, the chelicerae, are the ones which contain the poison glands.
  • The chelicerae (first appendages) may be clawed mouthparts or may be modified for piercing, as in ticks.
  • The legs, pedipalps and chelicerae are pulled free from the skin with rhythmic movements until finally the spider pulls free.



Example sentences
  • They have no cheliceral teeth and their prey is consequently not mashed but sucked dry.
  • However, hairs were also a problem in some cases, obscuring the epigynum and cheliceral teeth.
  • Once the pedipalps are out of the way the cheliceral sheath is clearly visible and you can also see part of the toothed hypostome protruding anteriorly beyond the cheliceral sheath.


Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek khēlē 'claw' + keras 'horn'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: che|li¦cera

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