A larval form of certain crustaceans, such as the crab, having a spiny carapace and rudimentary limbs on the abdomen and thorax.
- ‘The carapace of a zoea covers the head and the forward portion of the thorax.’
- ‘The purpose of this study was to examine and identify Brachyuran zoea of the San Francisco Bay Estuary, then to generate a dichotomous key.’
- ‘Similarly, in the blue crab Callinectes sapidus, identical pigments are found in the megalopal retina (unfortunately, zoea larvae have not yet been studied) and in the adult.’
- ‘Anthony Rice has used morphology of zoea to develop phylogenies of subsets of decapods that provides a different insight into relationships.’
- ‘Most metamorphosing malacostracans have a nauplius larva, but in many species eggs hatch into zoea larvae.’
Early 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek zōē life.