Definition of cercaria in English:

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cercaria

Pronunciation: /ˌsərˈkerēə/

noun (plural cercariae /-ˈke(ə)rēˌē/)

Zoology
A free-swimming larval stage in which a parasitic fluke passes from an intermediate host (typically a snail) to another intermediate host or to the final vertebrate host.
Example sentences
  • Tadpoles in ponds with snails pick up trematode larvae, called cercariae.
  • Once the cercaria enters the second intermediate host, it sheds its tail and becomes a metacercaria, which is little more than a miniature, but sexually immature, adult, that may, or may not, encyst.
  • Inside these slime balls are cercariae of the fluke, nicely encased in a ‘mini’ aquatic habitat, albeit a temporary one.

Origin

Mid 19th century: modern Latin, formed irregularly from Greek kerkos 'tail'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cer·car·i·a

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