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|part of speech:
||an insect after it hatches from an egg and before it changes into its adult form. Larvae do not have wings and look like worms. Most kinds of insects spend part of their lives as larvae. Caterpillars are a type of larva.
||the young form of other animals without backbones that change their shape in different stages of their lives.
is a Latin word that means "mask" or "ghost." The Swedish botanist Linnaeus gave this Latin word a scientific sense in 1768. He chose this word because, in its larva stage, the true, adult form of the insect is masked.