ichneumon

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Related to ichneumon flies: Ichneumon wasp

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 ?
If my memory is correct there are some 7,000 species of British wasps and ichneumon flies, which I think is the biggest order of insects in Britain.
Why the Creator should invent such things as ichneumon flies, with their disgusting habits, I fail to imagine - and I think Charles Darwin had similar views on the things as well.