An example of a larva is a caterpillar that will become a butterfly.
The caterpillar is the larva of the butterfly; the tadpole is the larva of the frog.
Origin of larva
- Latin lārva specter, mask (because it acts as a specter of or a mask for the adult form)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Latin larva (“ghost-like, masked").