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Saturday, August 7

Labellum

[lə-BEL-əm]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, early 19th century

1.

(Botany) A central petal at the base of an orchid flower, typically larger than the other petals and of a different shape.

2.

(Entomology) Each of a pair of lobes at the tip of the proboscis in some insects.

Examples of Labellum in a sentence

"Houseflies have a fused proboscis with a _______ at the end."

"The labellum on certain species of orchids mimic female wasps, encouraging male wasps to visit."

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About Labellum

Labellum originated in 19th century Latin, and is thought to be a diminutive of the word “labrum” (lip).

Did you Know?

Butterflies, mosquitoes, and houseflies — what do all these insects have in common? Their mouths, for one thing. Many insects with a proboscis (a long syringe-like tube extended to feed from a source) have a specialized labellum, or pair of lobes, at the base, which they use to drink with.

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