Ser"pu*la\, n.; pl. Serpul[ae], E. Serpulas. [L., a little snake. See Serpent.] (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of tubicolous annelids of the genus Serpula and allied genera of the family Serpulid[ae]. They secrete a calcareous tube, which is usually irregularly contorted, but is sometimes spirally coiled. The worm has a wreath of plumelike and often bright-colored gills around its head, and usually an operculum to close the aperture of its tube when it retracts.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
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