One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A parasitic larva of certain freshwater bivalve mollusks, which attaches itself by hooks and suckers to the fins or gills of fish.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Zygotes develop within the mantle cavity and glochidia larvae are released in the early summer.’
- ‘Many mussel species depend on specific species of fish to serve as hosts for mussel larvae, or glochidia.’
Late 19th century: modern Latin, based on Greek glōkhis, glōkhid- ‘arrowhead’.
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