Ser"pu*la (?), n.; pl. Serpulae (#), E. Serpulas (#). [L., a little snake. See Serpent.] Zool.
Any one of numerous species of tubicolous annelids of the genus Serpula and allied genera of the family Serpulidae. 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 1913.