noun (plural glochidia)Zoology
A parasitic larva of certain freshwater bivalve molluscs, which attaches itself by hooks and suckers to the fins or gills of fish.
- The glochidia larvae of some freshwater mussels can be serious parasites of fish, and some marine bivalves bore through wood, causing damage to wooden ships, pilings, and other wood structures.
- Unionid embryos spend the first stage of development in the marsupial portion of the female unionid's gills, where they develop into glochidia, the parasitic stage.
- Zygotes develop within the mantle cavity and glochidia larvae are released in the early summer.
Late 19th century: modern Latin, based on Greek glōkhis, glōkhid- 'arrowhead'.
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