Origin: L. Larva ghost, specter, mask.
1. <zoology> Any young insect from the time that it hatches from the egg until it becomes a pupa, or chrysalis. During this time it usually molts several times, and may change its form or colour each time. The larvae of many insects are much like the adults in form and habits, but have no trace of wings, the rudimentary wings appearing only in the pupa stage. In other groups of insects the larvae are totally unlike the parents in structure and habits, and are called caterpillars, grubs, maggots, etc.
(01 Mar 1998)
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