Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
zoëa (plural zoëae)
- (zoology) A peculiar larval stage of certain decapod crustaceans, especially of crabs and certain Anomura. Also called the copepod stage.
- In this stage the anterior part of the body is relatively large, and usually bears three or four long spines. The years are conspicuous, and the antennæ and jaws are long, fringed organs used in swimming. The thoracic legs are undeveloped or rudimentary, the abdomen long, slender, and often without appendages. The zoëa, after casting its shell, changes to a megalops. This was originally thought to be a distinct genus.