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Serpula (family Coniophoraceae) A genus of fungi which includes the dry-rot fungus S. lacrymans (formerly Merulius lacrymans), a serious agent of timber decay in buildings. The fungus can spread from one timber to another across brickwork and mortar. Rust-red spores are produced in shallow pores which form a honeycomb-like layer. Dry rot is rare outside buildings.

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serpula marine annelid which inhabits a tortuous calcareous tube. XVIII. — modL. use of late L. serpula, dim. f. L. serpere (see SERPENT).

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