noun (plural hectocotyli /-ˈkätlˌī/)Zoology
A modified arm used by male octopuses and some other cephalopods to transfer sperm to the female.
More example sentences
- In some species, the specialized arm tip may be pinched off and left in the female's mantle cavity: this is known as the hectocotylus arm.
- The hectocotylus is used to deliver the spermatophores (sperm-filled sacs) to the female during mating.
- In some cephalopods, the end of the hectocotylus snaps off and remains imbedded in the female.
mid 19th century: modern Latin, from hecto- 'hundred' + Greek kotulē 'hollow thing', a name given by Cuvier to what he mistakenly took to be a genus of parasitic worms.
Definition of hectocotylus in:
- The British & World English dictionary