Etymology
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larva (n.)

1630s, "a ghost, specter, disembodied spirit" (earlier as larve, c. 1600), from Latin larva (plural larvae), earlier larua "ghost, evil spirit, demon," also "mask," a word from Roman mythology, of unknown origin; de Vaan finds a possible derivation from Lar "tutelary god" (see Lares) "quite attractive semantically."

Crowded out in its original sense by the zoological use (1768) which began with Linnaeus, who applied the word to immature forms of animals that do not resemble, and thus "mask," the adult forms.

On the double sense of the Latin word, Carlo Ginzburg, among other observers of mythology and folklore, has commented on "the well-nigh universal association between masks and the spirits of the dead."

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larvivorous (adj.)

"feeding on grubs and caterpillars," 1863; see larva + -vorous.

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larval (adj.)
1650s, "pertaining to ghosts," from Latin larvalis, from larva (see larva). Zoological sense, "pertaining to a larva," is from 1848. In recent times, larvate (adj.) has been used for "masked, clothed as if with a mask" (1846).
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meal-worm (n.)

"grub or larva of a meal-beetle," infesting granaries, etc., 1650s, from meal (n.2) + worm (n.).

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caddis (n.)
also caddice, larva of the English May-fly, used for bait, 1650s, of unknown origin, perhaps a diminutive of some sense of cad. Also used of the adult stage of certain neuropterous insects.
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pupate (v.)

"become a pupa, undergo transformation from a grub or larva to that of a perfect insect," 1862, from pupa + -ate (2). Related: Pupated; pupating.

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doodle-bug (n.)

type of beetle or larva, 1865, Southern U.S. dialect; see doodle + bug (n.). The same word was applied 1944 in R.A.F. slang to German V-model flying bombs.

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grub (n.)
"larva of an insect," early 15c., perhaps from grub (v.) on the notion of "digging insect," or from the possibly unrelated Middle English grub "dwarfish fellow" (c. 1400). Meaning "dull drudge" is 1650s. The slang sense of "food" is first recorded 1650s, said to be from birds eating grubs, but also often linked with bub "drink."
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dobson (n.)

name for the predatory larva of a type of large insect of eastern North America, by 1870, of uncertain origin, originally a term among fishermen, who use it for bait. The adult male form is large and ferocious-looking but harmless to humans. It has been called dobson fly since at least 1906; the earlier name was hellgrammite (by 2868). 

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