ichneumon

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ich·neu·mon

(ĭk-no͞o′mən, -nyo͞o′-)
n.
1. Any of numerous parasitic wasps of the family Ichneumonidae, with larvae that are parasitoids of other insects and females that have long ovipositors. Also called ichneumon fly.

[Latin ichneumōn, Egyptian mongoose, ichneumon fly, from Greek ikhneumōn, from ikhneuein, to track, from ikhnos, track, spoor, footprint, perhaps from oikhesthai, to have gone away, be gone, and akin to Armenian iǰanel, to come down, Old Irish óegi, guest, and Tocharian B yku, gone.]

ichneumon

(ɪkˈnjuːmən)
n
(Animals) a mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, of Africa and S Europe, having greyish-brown speckled fur
[C16: via Latin from Greek, literally: tracker, hunter, from ikhneuein to track, from ikhnos a footprint; so named from the animal's alleged ability to locate the eggs of crocodiles]

ich•neu•mon

(ɪkˈnu mən, -ˈnyu-)

n.
1. a slender, long-tailed mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, of N Africa and S Europe, believed by the ancient Egyptians to devour crocodile eggs.
[1565–75; < Latin < Greek ichneúmōn tracker]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ichneumon - northern African mongooseichneumon - northern African mongoose; in ancient times thought to devour crocodile eggs
mongoose - agile grizzled Old World viverrine; preys on snakes and rodents
References in periodicals archive ?
What we have just seen," I lied hastily, "is the defeat of the false ichneumon wasp which seeks to escape predators by imitating its fiercer cousin in coloring and shape.
Basing his findings primarily on Darwin's famous letter to Asa Gray, Gould concludes: not a lion, a tiger, or a bear, but the ichneumon wasp posed the greatest challenge to the argument that inferred the existence of a benevolent deity through nature.
A new subfamily of ichneumon wasps (Insecta, Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) of the Russian Far East.