: a genus (the type of the family Bdellouridae) of triclad flatworms that live in the gills of the horseshoe crab

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, from Greek bdélla "leech" + New Latin -o- -o- + -ura -ura

Note: Introduced originally as a subgenus name by the American zoologist Joseph Leidy (1823-91) in "Helminthological Contributions.—No. 3," Meeting of August 26, 1851, Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, vol. 5 (1850-51), pp. 239-44. Leidy footnotes the name with the explanation "bdella [Greek letters], a leech; oura [Greek letters, with omicron and upsilon written as a single letter]; because the animal adheres by the tail like a leech" (p. 241). The more regular Latinization would be Bdellura; it is uncertain if -o- is meant to be the combining vowel or a transliteration of Greek omicron.

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Dictionary Entries Near Bdelloura

Cite this Entry

“Bdelloura.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

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