e|phip|pi|um «eh FIHP ee uhm», noun, plural e|phip|pi|a «eh FIHP ee uh».
a thickened part of the shell of certain crustaceans which, under certain circumstances, is employed as an egg case, and molted together with the eggs, which may lie dormant over the winter before developing: »

Females which produce ephippia can return to normal egg production when conditions improve (J. Green).

[< Latin ephippium saddle, horse blanket < Greek ephíppios that is for putting on a horse < epi upon + híppos horse (because of the similar appearance of a horse saddle and the thickened shell)]

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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