- a dinoflagellate of the genus Noctiluca, capable of producing light and, in groups, of causing a luminous appearance of the sea.
Origin of noctiluca
1670–80; < New Latin; Latin noctilūca shiner by night, equivalent to nocti- nocti- + -lūca shiner, derivative of lūcēre to shine
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Examples from the Web for noctiluca
I do not see how they could be the L. noctiluca, as he states.The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Volume VI, Familiar Letters
Henry David Thoreau
Noctiluca flashes on stimulation of any kind, even the slightest agitation causing a brilliant emission of light.The Nature of Animal Light
E. Newton Harvey
Noctiluca miliaris, acted upon by iodine solution, showing the protoplasm shrunk away from the structureless pellicle.
The exchange of life-elements between two individuals is well illustrated in the case of the infusorian Noctiluca.
Two new individuals are thus formed, and each Noctiluca has absorbed half of the other.
- any bioluminescent marine dinoflagellate of the genus Noctiluca
C17: from Latin, from nox night + lūcēre to shine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012