One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Inhabiting rock; living on rocks; lithodomous.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Robert Mayne (1808–1868). From scientific Latin petricola, specific name of a type of mollusc (Lamarck Système des Animaux sans Vertèbres 121; from classical Latin petra rock + colere to inhabit: see -colous) + -ous; compare -colous.
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