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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some tunicates are entirely pelagic; known as salps, they typically have barrel-shaped bodies and may be extremely abundant in the open ocean.’
    • ‘The abundance of the salp Salpa thompsoni at a station was expressed as numbers per 1,000 m 3 of water filtered.’
    • ‘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.’


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