leptocephalus larva A type of larva, found only in certain species of marine bony fish, whose appearance is different from that of the adult. In the case of the eel (Anguilla), for example, the larva has a small head with tiny eyes, and the body is shaped like a willow leaf and is virtually transparent; the dorsal and ventral portions of the body divided by the notochord and spinal cord are of approximately the same size. Only after metamorphosis does the fish begin to look like an adult eel.
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