The New Student's Reference Work/Larva

Lar′va (plural, larvæ), the young of nearly all insects, the larval stage being that which follows the hatching of the egg. The larvæ of beetles are grubs; of flies, maggots; of butterflies and moths, caterpillars. The term worm is misleading; worms are not insects, and do not, like larvæ, come from the egg. Some larvæ are almost like the full-grown insect, as grasshoppers, wanting only wings; others appear very unlike the adult, as caterpillar and moth or butterfly. Larvæ live only to eat, numerous insects in the larval state working untold harm on vegetation. As the creature grows too large for its skin, this is dispensed with; molting, as the process is called, taking place from four to 20 times, according to the species. Cast-off skins are frequently to be found. See Metamorphosis. Consult Cragin: Our Insect Friends and Foes.