pedipalp

noun

ped·​i·​palp ˈpe-də-ˌpalp How to pronounce pedipalp (audio)
: either of the second pair of appendages of various arthropods (such as an arachnid or horseshoe crab) that lie on each side of the mouth and often perform a specialized function (such as grasping or feeling)

Note: Pedipalps are typically small and leglike in spiders, and large and pincerlike in scorpions.

Examples of pedipalp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In what appears to be a dream, a creepy-crawly form is seen moving under the skin of Jakub’s face, its pedipalps first making an abortive attempt to exit via his nostrils before a sizeable spider emerges from his mouth. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Feb. 2024 The actual mating is a cautious affair, involving the male inserting his pedipalps into the female’s reproductive openings to deliver the sperm. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 13 Feb. 2024 Using a specialized appendage near his mouth called a pedipalp, the male spider reached forward and carefully slid a packet of sperm into the female’s abdominal cavity. Katie Weeman, Scientific American, 29 Sep. 2023 Some spiders even use part of the pedipalp, a bit just under the palpal bulb at the tip, to make music (stridulate) as part of a courtship ritual. Emily Willingham, Wired, 22 Sep. 2020 But as the male dismounts, the pedipalp grasps and twists the scapus, snipping it off as if with scissors. National Geographic, 14 Feb. 2017 Male orb weavers of the Argiope genus die upon inserting that second pedipalp. Liz Langley, National Geographic, 25 Feb. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pedipalp.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin pedipalpus, from ped-, pes foot + palpus palpus

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pedipalp was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near pedipalp

Cite this Entry

“Pedipalp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pedipalp. Accessed 12 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on pedipalp

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!