Definition of salp in English:



  • A free-swimming marine invertebrate related to the sea squirts, with a transparent barrel-shaped body.

    Several genera in the class Thaliacea, subphylum Urochordata

    • ‘Other more sophisticated jelly creatures include some mollusks and snails, and tunicates - sea squirts, salps and larvaceans.’
    • ‘By fashioning their bodies into pulsating tubes, the salps are able, each day, to filter half the water column they inhabit, drawing out the phytoplankton and smaller zooplankton for food.’
    • ‘West of the Antarctic Peninsula, zooplankton are dominated by krill after winters with high ice extent, and alternately, by salps after low ice extent years.’
    • ‘The abundance of the salp Salpa thompsoni at a station was expressed as numbers per 1,000 m 3 of water filtered.’
    • ‘Some tunicates are entirely pelagic; known as salps, they typically have barrel-shaped bodies and may be extremely abundant in the open ocean.’


Mid 19th century: from French salpe, based on Greek salpē ‘fish’.