Hypertext Webster Gateway: "larva"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Larva \Lar"va\, n.; pl. L. {Larv[ae]}, E. {Larvas}. [L. larva
ghost, specter, mask.]
1. (Zo["o]l.) 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 color each time. The larv[ae] 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 larv[ae]
are totally unlike the parents in structure and habits,
and are called {caterpillars}, {grubs}, {maggots}, etc.

2. (Zo["o]l.) The early, immature form of any animal when
more or less of a metamorphosis takes place, before the
assumption of the mature shape.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n : the immature free-living form of most invertebrates and
amphibians and fish which at hatching from the egg is
fundamentally unlike its parent and must metamorphose

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