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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Dracunculus \Dra*cun"cu*lus\, n.; pl. Dracunculi. [L., dim. of draco dragon.] (Zo["o]l.)

  1. A fish; the dragonet.

  2. The Guinea worm ( Filaria medinensis).


n. 1 A fish, the dragonet. 2 The (vern: Guinea worm) ((taxlink Filaria medinensis species noshow=1), now (taxlink Dracunculus medinensis species noshow=1)).

Dracunculus (nematode)

Dracunculus is a genus of spiruroid nematode parasites in the family Dracunculidae. Some species infest humans and alter their hosts’ behaviour in a way that supports the worm’s reproductive cycle. Dracunculus causes a blister to form on the host, often on the foot or lower leg, causing severe pain and a boiling sensation. This will cause the human host to dip the affected area in water to sooth the pain which will cause the blister to burst, allowing reproductive larvae into the water where they can await the next host to infect.

The worms can reach a metre in length. If one simply pulls off the protruding head of the worm, the worm will break and leak high levels of foreign antigen which can lead to anaphylactic shock and fast death of the host. Hence it is important to remove the worm slowly (over a period of weeks). This is typically undertaken by winding the worm onto a stick (say, a matchstick), by a few centimetres each day.

Dracunculus (plant)

Dracunculus is a genus of 3 species of a tuberous perennial of the family Araceae. They are characterised by a large purple spathe and spadix, often produced in advance of the pedate, dark green leaves often with white mottling. The open spathe is usually accompanied by a foul smell.

The best known species is Dracunculus vulgaris, which is sometimes grown in gardens for ornamental purposes.

They are native to the Mediterranean, Madeira and the Canary Islands where they are found in rocky areas, hillsides and waste ground.

  1. Dracunculus canariensis Kunth - Canary Islands, Madeira
  2. Dracunculus vulgaris Schott - Turkey, Algeria, southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, Yugoslavia, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria); naturalized in scattered locations in the United States

Dracunculus may refer to:

  • Dracunculus (plant), a genus of plants in the Araceae family
  • Dracunculus (nematode), a genus of nematodes in the Dracunculidae family

Usage examples of "dracunculus".

And Dracunculus, the legendary fiery serpent, will cut a swath from digestive tract to epidermis, erupting from the skin in a blaze of necrotic glory.

Hippuris, Dolichos, Syngenesia, Cheiranthus, Artocarpus, Arum dracunculus, Ampelopsis hederaca, Hexandria, Monogynea, and the rest.

Under the heading Dracunculus so many passages are highlighted in yellow that it looks as if the paper has changed color.

The Dracunculus medinensis or Guinea-worm is a widely-spread parasite in parts of Africa and the West Indies.