hec·​to·​cot·​y·​lus | \ -ᵊləs \
plural hectocotyli\ -​ᵊlˌī \

Definition of hectocotylus

: a modified arm of a male cephalopod that is specially and variously adapted to effect the fertilization of the eggs especially : an arm that in argonauts and some octopods receives the spermatophores, is inserted into the female mantle cavity, and then is broken free from the body of the male

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History and Etymology for hectocotylus

New Latin, from hect- + -cotylus (from Greek kotylē cup, anything hollow)

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Cite this Entry

“Hectocotylus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hectocotylus. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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