Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: staphylo-, staphyl-

MRSA Bacteria
This scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicts numerous clusters of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly referred to by the acronym, MRSA.

CDC / Janice Haney Carr / Jeff Hageman, M.H.S.

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: staphylo-, staphyl-


The prefix (staphylo- or staphyl-) refers to shapes that resemble clusters, as in a bunch of grapes. It also refers to the uvula, a mass of tissue that hangs from the back of the soft palate in the body.


Staphylea (staphyl - ea) - a genus of about ten species of flowering plants with flowers that hang from stalked clusters. They are commonly called bladdernuts.

Staphylectomy (staphyl - ectomy) - surgical removal of the uvula. The uvula is located at the back of your throat.

Staphyledema (staphyl - edema) - a medical term that refers to the swelling of the uvula caused by the accumulation of fluid.

Staphyline (staphyl - ine) - of or related to the uvula.

Staphylinid (staphyl - inid) - a beetle in the family Staphylinidae. These beetles usually have long bodies and short elytra (the wing cases of beetles). They are also known as rove beetles.

Staphylinidae (staphyl - inidae) - a family of beetles that is the largest such family with over sixty thousand plus species. Due to the large size of the family, the characteristics for different component species can be quite varied.

Staphylinus (staphyl - inus) - a genus of beetles in the phylum Arthropoda in the family Staphylinidae.

Staphylocide (staphylo - cide) - killing any of a number of microorganisms that can cause a staph infection. This term is also synonymous with staphylococcide.

Staphylococcal (staphylo - coccal) - of or pertaining to staphylococcus.

Staphylococci (staphylo - cocci) plural form of staphylococcus.

Staphylococcide (staphylo - coccide) another terms for staphylocide.

Staphylococcus (staphylo - coccus) - spherical shaped parasitic bacterium usually occurring in grape-like clusters. Some species of these bacteria, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), have developed resistance to antibiotics.

Staphyloderma (staphylo - derma) - skin infection of staphylococcus bacteria that is characterized by the production of pus.

Staphylodialysis (staphylo - dialysis) - a medical term that is synonymous with staphyloptosis.

Staphylohemia (staphylo - hemia) - a medical term that refers to the presence of Staphylococcus bacteria in the blood.

Staphyloma (staphylo - ma) - protrusion or bulging of the cornea or sclera (outer covering of the eye) caused by inflammation.

Staphyloncus (staphyl - oncus) - a medical and anatomical term that refers to an uvular tumor or swelling of the uvula.

Staphyloplasty (staphylo - plasty) - surgical operation to repair the soft palate and or uvula.

Staphyloptosis (staphylo - ptosis) - elongation or relaxation of the soft palate or uvula.

Staphylorrhaphic (staphylo - rrhaphic) - of or pertaining to a staphylorrhaphy.

Staphylorrhaphy (staphylo - rrhaphy) - surgical procedure to repair a cleft palate by bringing the different portions of the cleft into one unit.

Staphyloschisis (staphylo - schisis) - a split or cleft of the uvula and or soft palate.

Staphylotoxin (staphylo - toxin) - a poisonous substance produced by staphylococcus bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus produce toxins that destroy blood cells and cause food poisoning. The effects of these toxins can be quite deleterious to organisms.

Staphyloxanthin (staphylo - xanthin) - a carotenoid pigment found in some strains of Staphylococcus aureus that cause these bacteria to appear yellow.

staphylo- and staphyl- Word Dissection

Biology can be a complex subject. By mastering 'word dissections', biology students position themselves to succeed in their biology classes, no matter how complex the concepts. Now that you are well versed in words that begin with staphylo- and staphyl-, you should be adroit enough to 'dissect' other similar and related biology terms.

Additional Biology Prefixes and Suffixes

For additional information about other biology prefixes and suffixes, see:

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -penia - (-penia) refers to lacking or to having a deficiency. This suffix is derived from the Greek penía.

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -phyll or -phyl - the suffix (-phyll) refers to leaves. Find out additional information about -phyll words like cataphylll and endophyllous.

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: proto- - The prefix (proto-) is derived from the Greek prôtos meaning first.

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: tel- or telo- - the prefixes tel- and telo- are derived from telos in Greek.


  • Reece, Jane B., and Neil A. Campbell. Campbell Biology. Benjamin Cummings, 2011.
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Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: staphylo-, staphyl-." ThoughtCo, Sep. 7, 2021, Bailey, Regina. (2021, September 7). Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: staphylo-, staphyl-. Retrieved from Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: staphylo-, staphyl-." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 7, 2023).