noctiluca

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n noctiluca large bioluminescent marine protozoan
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Noctiluca (Zoöl) A genus of marine flagellate Infusoria, remarkable for their unusually large size and complex structure, as well as for their phosphorescence. The brilliant diffuse phosphorescence of the sea is often due to myriads of Noctilucæ.
    • Noctiluca (Old Chem) That which shines at night; -- a fanciful name for phosphorus.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n noctiluca A genus of free-swimming phosphorescent pelagicinfusorialanimalcules, typical of the family Noctilucidæ. It is sometimes regarded as representative of an order Cystoflagellata (or Rhynchoflagellata). They are ordinarily regarded as monomastigate or uniflagellate eustomatous infusorians, of sub-spheroidal form, strikingly like a peach in shape, and from to of an inch in diameter (thus of giant size among infusorians). There is only one species, N. miliaris, of almost cosmopolitan distribution, but most abundant in warm seas, where they are foremost among various phosphorescent pelagic organisms which make the water luminous.
    • n noctiluca A member of this genus.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Noctiluca nok-ti-lū′ka a phosphorescent marine Infusorian, abundant around the British coasts, one of the chief causes of the phosphorescence of the waves
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. noctiluca, something that shines by night, fr. nox, noctis, night + lucere, to shine, lux, light
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. nox, noctis, night, lucēre, to shine.

Usage

In literature:

Science employs the same term: it calls it the lantern-bearer, Lampyris noctiluca, Lin.
"The Wonders of Instinct" by J. H. Fabre
EMMERLING, O.: 1909, Hydrolyse der Meerleuchtinfusorien der Nordsee (Noctiluca miliaris).
"The Nature of Animal Light" by E. Newton Harvey
***

In news:

Night lights of the sea Mauve stingers, aka Pelagia noctiluca, are abundant off Alabama right now.
Named for their distinctive coloration, Mauve stingers — or Pelagia noctiluca — deliver a painful sting and leave a welt that can last for days.
RED TIDE , caused by a bloom of an alga called Noctiluca stains the sea off the coast of California.
GULF OF MEXICO — Pelagia noctiluca, a relative of the common sea nettle, has been found in large numbers near the barrier islands in recent days.
***