The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







A larva (Latin; plural larvae) is a juvenile form of animal with indirect development, undergoing metamorphosis (for example, insects or amphibians).

The larva can look completely different from the adult form, for example, a caterpillar differs from a butterfly. Larvae often have special (larval) organs which do not occur in the adult form. The larvae of some species can become pubescent without actually developing into the adult form (for example, in some newts). This is called neoteny.

Names of various kinds of larvae:

Fresh-water mussel Glochidium
Many crustaceans Nauplius
Decapod Zoea
Butterfly, moth Caterpillar
Beetle Grub
Fly Maggot
Mosquito Wriggler
Bee Schadon
Lamprey Ammocoete
Eel Leptocephalus
Frog Polliwog
Toad Tadpole

Last updated: 08-23-2005 08:08:01
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