• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Serpula (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of tubicolous annelids of the genus Serpula and allied genera of the family Serpulidæ. 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.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n serpula A Linnean (1758) genus of worms, subsequently used with various restrictions, now type of the family Serpulidæ. They are cephalobranchiate tubicolous annelids, inhabiting cylindrical and serpentine or tortuous calcareous tubes, often massed together in a confused heap, and attached to rocks, shells, etc., in the sea. These tubes are so solid as to resemble the shells of some mollusks, and are closed by an operculum formed by a shelly plate on one of the tentacles. They are in general beautifully colored. The largest are found in tropical seas.
    • n serpula [lowercase] A worm of this or some related genus; also, a tube or bunch of tubes of such worms; a serpulian or serpulite.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Serpula ser′pū-la a genus of sedentary Chætopod worms, living in twisted calcareous tubes fastened to shells and rocks in the sea, or even to other animals, such as crabs
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., a little snake. See Serpent
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. serpĕre, to creep.


In literature:

Balani and Serpulae are sometimes found adhering to floating cocoa-nuts, and even to fragments of pumice.
"Principles of Geology" by Charles Lyell
Serpulae, on volcanic rocks, in Sicily, 151.
"A Manual of Elementary Geology" by Charles Lyell
How are Sabella and Serpula protected?
"A Guide for the Study of Animals" by Worrallo Whitney
Serpulas, or Sea Worms.
"Scientific American, Vol. XXXIX.--No. 24. [New Series.], December 14, 1878" by Various