Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In botany: The disk-like apex of the columella of Polytricheæ, which extends over the mouth of the capsule below the operculum.
  • noun A delicate membrane closing the cup-like receptacle of the Nidulariacei.
  • noun In conchology, the plate of hardened mucus secreted by a gastropod, as a snail, to plug up or seal the opening of the shell during hibernation; a sort of temporary or false operculum, sometimes hardened by calcareous deposit. See clausilium.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A membranaceous or calcareous septum with which some mollusks close the aperture of the shell during the time of hibernation, or estivation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A dry layer of mucus used by a snail or mollusk to seal itself inside its shell during hibernation.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • When I examined them again yeaterday, the smaller one had sealed its aperture with an epiphragm.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • When I examined them again yeaterday, the smaller one had sealed its aperture with an epiphragm.

    Cepaea nemoralis

  • SNAIL'S TALES: Cepaea nemoralis and its epiphragm skip to main

    Cepaea nemoralis

  • There is only a very narrow, short gap, visible at the top corner of the epiphragm, that the snail may have left open for air exchange, although I am not sure if it goes all the way thru the epiphragm to the other side.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • Its aperture is almost perfectly sealed by its calcerous epiphragm.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • Its aperture is almost perfectly sealed by its calcerous epiphragm.

    The one that didn't make it

  • There is only a very narrow, short gap, visible at the top corner of the epiphragm, that the snail may have left open for air exchange, although I am not sure if it goes all the way thru the epiphragm to the other side.

    The one that didn't make it

  • After all, the shell is a hard solid structure that in most cases envelopes the entire snail and the aperture could be blocked by an epiphragm or by various folds and lamellae here is an example.

    Archive 2006-03-01

  • I wouldn't have expected a snail that is supposed to have originated in southeast Asia to build a similar epiphragm.

    Archive 2006-06-01

  • What struck me as odd was that they had their apertures sealed with a hard calcareous epiphragm as opposed to a membranous one observed in eastern U.S. snails that normally don't experience long dry periods.

    Archive 2006-06-01

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I like this word!

    March 1, 2011

  • Wait... is it the gastropod equivalent of a tappen?

    March 1, 2011

  • More like a storm door.

    March 3, 2011

  • Exactly, moll!

    March 3, 2011

  • Ah... sure... "hardened mucus" would be more like a storm door. Hm--wonder why bears didn't think of that.

    March 3, 2011