Related topics: wasps

A trap for nematodes

Filariae, slender but sometimes up to 70-centimeter-long nematodes, can set up residence in their host quite tenaciously and cause serious infectious diseases in the tropics. The tiny larvae of the worms are usually transmitted ...

Caribbean coral reefs under siege from aggressive algae

Human activity endangers coral health around the world. A new algal threat is taking advantage of coral's already precarious situation in the Caribbean and making it even harder for reef ecosystems to grow.

Coral larvae movement is paused in reaction to darkness

Light is essential for the growth of reef-building corals. This is because corals grow by using the photosynthetic products of the algae living inside their cells as a source of nutrients. Therefore, the light environment ...

Beetle larvae think with a brain 'under construction'

In the human brain, hundreds of billions of nerve cells are interconnected in the most complicated way, and only when these interconnections are correctly made, can the brain function properly. This is no different for insects, ...

Waiter there's a black soldier fly in my soup

It may seem a little hard to swallow but the larvae of a waste-eating fly could become a new alternative protein source for humans, according to a University of Queensland scientist.

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Larva

A larva (Latin; plural larvae) is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically have a larval phase of their life cycle. Larva is Latin for "ghost".

The larva's appearance is generally very different from the adult form (e.g. caterpillars and butterflies), and a larva often has unique structures and larval organs that do not occur in the adult form. A larva's diet can be considerably different from that of the adult form.

Larvae are frequently adapted to environments separate from adults. For example, some larvae such as tadpoles live exclusively in aquatic environments, but as adults can live outside water as frogs. By living in distinct environments, larvae may be given shelter from predators and reduce competition for resources with the adult population.

Animals in the larval stage will consume food to fuel their transition into the adult form. Some species such as barnacles are immobile as adults, and use their mobile larvae form to distribute themselves.

The larvae of some species can become pubescent and not further develop into the adult form (for example, in some newts). This is a type of neoteny.

It is a misunderstanding that the larval form always reflects the group's evolutionary history. It could be the case, but often the larval stage has evolved secondarily, as in insects. In these cases the larval form might differ more from the group's common origin than the adult form.

Names of various kinds of larvae:

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA