Definition of pedicellaria in US English:


nounPlural pedicellariae

  • A defensive organ like a minute pincer present in large numbers on an echinoderm.

    • ‘A few species that use their pedicellariae to capture prey may even feed on fish.’
    • ‘Some types of pedicellariae and specialized spines of urchins contain venom used in self-defense.’
    • ‘Accessory ossicles are the spines, spinelets, granules, and pedicellariae that occur in abundance on most asteroids.’
    • ‘Typically, these are tube feet, pedicellaria, and gills.’
    • ‘However, if touched with a blunt object, the spines turn away, allowing the pedicellariae to be the primary mode of defense.’


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Latin pediculus ‘small foot’ (see pedicel).