The term larva applies to the young hatchling which varies from the grown up adult in possessing organs not present in the adult such as sex glands and associated parts. Insect development is of four types namely Ametabolous, Paurometabolous, Hemimetabolous and Holometabolous. The larvae appear in variety of forms and are termed as caterpillars, grubs or maggots in different insects groups. The larval development consists of series of stages in which each stage is separated from the next by a molt. It’s a complex process involving hormones, proteins and enzymes. Insects grow in increments. The molting is the process through which insects can routinely cast off their exoskeleton during specific times in their life cycle. The insect form in between two subsequent molts is termed as instar. The number of instars varies from 3 to 40 in different insect orders depending on the surrounding environmental and other conditions such as inheritance, sex, food quality and quantity. The larvae are categorized into four types namely Protopod larva, Polypod larva, Oligopod larva and Apodous larva.
Part of the book: Edible Insects