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any member of the class Larvacea, of the subphylum Urochordata, or Tunicata, belonging to the phylum Chordata. Reaching lengths of 5 mm (0.2 inches), larvaceans are transparent, larva-like organisms that live in the open sea. The U-shaped body consists of a trunk and tail. The body secretes a structure larger than itself, within which the animal moves freely.