- Entomology. the immature, wingless, feeding stage of an insect that undergoes complete metamorphosis.
- any animal in an analogous immature form.
- the young of any invertebrate animal.
- larvae, Roman Antiquity. malignant ghosts, as lemures.
Origin of larva
Examples from the Web for larvae
Jellyfish eat the eggs and larvae of other species higher on the food chain, as well as the plankton that those larvae would eat.Beware at the Beach, the Jellyfish Rule the Seas and It’s Our Fault
June 20, 2013
The sago palm weevil, a type of beetle, is eaten, roasted or raw, as a larvae in Southeast Asia.Cicadas, Grasshoppers, Locusts, Ants Among the Tastiest Insects
May 14, 2013
The larvae produce parasitic worms that can enter the human body and take up residence for as long as 14 years.Necrotizing Fasciitis, Blinding Larvae & More Scary Diseases
May 18, 2012
Corpus adiposum: the mass of fat tissue often found in larvae.
Homomorpha: insects in which the larvae resemble the adults.
Limaciform: having the form of a Limax or slug; said of larvae.
Scutes: the chitinous shields or plates on the segments of larvae.
Tentacular -um: retractile processes on the larvae of Lepidoptera.
- an immature free-living form of many animals that develops into a different adult form by metamorphosis
Word Origin and History for larvae
plural of larva (q.v.).
1650s, "a ghost, specter," from Latin larva (plural larvae), earlier larua "ghost," also "mask;" applied in biological sense 1768 by Linnaeus because immature forms of insects "mask" the adult forms. On the double sense of the Latin word, Carlo Ginzburg, among other students of mythology and folklore, has commented on "the well-nigh universal association between masks and the spirits of the dead."
- The newly hatched, wingless, often wormlike form of many insects before metamorphosis.
- The newly hatched, earliest stage of any of various animals that undergo metamorphosis, differing markedly in form and appearance from the adult.
- An animal in an early stage of development that differs greatly in appearance from its adult stage. Larvae are adapted to a different environment and way of life from those of adults and go through a process of metamorphosis in changing to adults. Tadpoles are the larvae of frogs and toads.
- The immature, wingless, and usually wormlike feeding form of those insects that undergo three stages of metamorphosis, such as butterflies, moths, and beetles. Insect larvae hatch from eggs, later turn into pupae, and finally turn into adults. Compare imago nymph pupa.