Part of speech: noun
Origin: Latin, early 19th century
(Botany) A central petal at the base of an orchid flower, typically larger than the other petals and of a different shape.
(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."
Popularity Over Time
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.