Definition of glochidium in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡlōˈkidēəm/

noun (plural glochidia /-ˈkidēə/)

A parasitic larva of certain freshwater bivalve mollusks, which attaches itself by hooks and suckers to the fins or gills of fish.
Example sentences
  • 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 'arrowhead'.

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