Raphe (/ˈrfi/; from Greek ῥαφή, "seam"[1]) has several different meanings in science.

In botany and planktology it is commonly used when describing a seam or ridge on diatoms or seeds.

In animal anatomy it is used to describe a ridged union[2] of continuous biological tissue. There are several different significant anatomical raphes:


In teratology, a malformation or congenital disorder involving a raphe, such as spina bifida, is known as a dysraphism.


  1. Liddell, H.G. & Scott, R. (1940). A Greek-English Lexicon. revised and augmented throughout by Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  2. "raphe" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
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