The first action that we are going to carry out in order to know the meaning of the term larva it is to proceed to establish its etymological origin. In this sense, we would have to say that it emanates from Latin, more precisely from the word “larvus”, which can be translated as “evil or specter”.

A larva it’s a a certain animal in a state of development, which has already left its egg and can feed on its own, but has not yet developed the form and organization that characterizes the adults of its species.


The larva is the juvenile stage of some animals.

Characteristics of a larva

It can be said, therefore, that the larvae are juvenile stages of species with indirect development. It is possible to differentiate larvae from adults by their physiology and his anatomy. In some cases, the larvae are identified by a different name than the adult specimens, such as the tadpoles (larvae of frogs and toads) or the caterpillars (larvae of butterflies).

The larva can live in a habitat very different from the environment occupied by the adult animal. Mosquito larvae are aquatic and have gills, while adult mosquitoes live in an aerial system and have a tracheal system.

Its use in the field of medicine

In recent years, the larvae have covered the covers of various international media. The reason is that a medical and scientific study has been carried out that has established that it is possible to use live larvae to end certain diseases.

In Kenya it is specifically where it has been announced that this practice will begin to be carried out, which was already used by man in previous centuries and which allows, it seems to be, the healing of various types of wounds. And it is that the larvae kill the bacteria that are the ones that worsen the condition of the patient in question. The larvae of worms and green flies seem to be the first ones to start working with.


After metamorphosis, a larva develops into an adult specimen.

The process of transformation from larva to adult is known as metamorphosis. It is a complex process that requires internal and external reorganization. The larvae frequently digest their own tissues and form new organs, activities that they carry out in a resting phase within a shelter. The case of silkworm or butterfly, which develops the metamorphosis within some silk filaments that it produces.

As in all animals, the main difference between a juvenile (a larva) and an adult is the development of the gonads (the reproductive organs that produce gametes).

A Spanish municipality

In addition to all the above, it must be emphasized that in the Spanish province of Jaén there is a population that curiously receives the name of Larva.

In the region of Sierra Mágina is where the one is located, which has about 480 inhabitants and which has among its most important historical and cultural heritage the medieval settlement of “El Tejar de los Moros”, the Church of San Pedro Apóstol that dates back from the 18th century or to the Museum of Popular Art and Customs.