Definition of serpulid in English:



  • A small marine fan worm which lives in a twisted shell-like tube, typically in colonies, with retractable tentacles for filter-feeding.

    Family Serpulidae, class Polychaeta

    • ‘In addition, from a uniformitarian viewpoint, it seems more likely that the Figuroa tubes are those of vestimentiferans rather than serpulids.’
    • ‘The organism may have extended a filtering organ out of the single opening as a modern serpulid does from its tube.’
    • ‘In addition, the tubes of serpulids have distinct lamellae in cross-section.’
    • ‘In this regard their mode of life may have been quite similar to fossil and recent species of tubicolous polychaete worms, such as serpulids.’
    • ‘These build-ups are made up of bryozoans (mostly robust-branching and minor laminar forms), bivalves and coralline algae, accompanied by echinoids, brachiopods, barnacles, ahermatypic corals, serpulids and vermetids.’


Late 19th century: from modern Latin Serpulidae (plural), from late Latin serpula ‘small serpent’, from Latin serpere ‘to creep’.