Blepharisma

noun

Bleph·​a·​risma
: a genus of large ovoid or pyriform frequently rose-colored free-living ciliates (order Spirotricha) having the peristome highly developed

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from New Latin, from Greek blepharid-, blepharís "eyelash" + New Latin -isma, probably after Lepisma Lepisma and similar genus names (borrowed from Greek -ismat-, -isma, suffix of nominal derivatives from verb stems ending in -id-, -iz-)

Note: Genus defined by the Bavarian-born naturalist Maximilian Perty (1804-84) in "Mikroskopische Organismen der Alpen und der italienischen Schweiz," Mittheilungen der naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Bern, No. 164/165 (November, 1849), p. 170. The name alludes to the Wimperreihen ("rows of cilia") in Perty's description of the organism; note that Wimper in German means both "eyelash" and "cilium".

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Cite this Entry

“Blepharisma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Blepharisma. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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