Ichneumon fly
Ichneumon Ich*neu"mon, n. [L., fr. Gr. ?, lit., the tracker; so called because it hunts out the eggs of the crocodile, fr. ? to track or hunt after, fr. 'i`chnos track, footstep.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any carnivorous mammal of the genus {Herpestes}, and family {Viverrid[ae]}. Numerous species are found in Asia and Africa. The Egyptian species ({Herpestes ichneumon}), which ranges to Spain and Palestine, is noted for destroying the eggs and young of the crocodile as well as various snakes and lizards, and hence was considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians. The common species of India ({Herpestes griseus}), known as the {mongoose}, has similar habits and is often domesticated. It is noted for killing the cobra. [1913 Webster]

2. (Zo["o]l.) Any hymenopterous insect of the family {Ichneumonid[ae]}, of which several thousand species are known, belonging to numerous genera. [1913 Webster]

Note: The female deposits her eggs upon, or in, the bodies of other insects, such as caterpillars, plant lice, etc. The larva lives upon the internal tissues of the insect in which it is parasitic, and finally kills it. Hence, many of the species are beneficial to agriculture by destroying noxious insects. [1913 Webster]

{Ichneumon fly}. See {Ichneumon}, 2. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ichneumon fly — n. any of a large family (Ichneumonidae) of hymenopteran insects whose larvae live as parasites in or on other insect larvae: also ichneumon wasp …   English World dictionary

  • ichneumon fly — noun hymenopterous insect that resembles a wasp and whose larvae are parasitic on caterpillars and other insect larvae • Hypernyms: ↑hymenopterous insect, ↑hymenopteran, ↑hymenopteron, ↑hymenopter • Member Holonyms: ↑Ichneumonidae, ↑family… …   Useful english dictionary

  • ichneumon fly — noun see ichneumon wasp …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ichneumon fly — noun (inaccurately named) ichneumon wasp …   Wiktionary

  • ichneumon fly — ichneu′mon fly n. ent any of numerous wasplike insects of the family Ichneumonidae, the larvae of which are parasites of the larvae and pupae of many insects, esp. moths and butterflies • Etymology: 1705–15 …   From formal English to slang

  • ichneumon fly — any of numerous wasplike insects of the family Ichneumonidae, the larvae of which are parasitic on caterpillars and immature stages of other insects. Also, ichneumonfly. [1705 15] * * * …   Universalium

  • ichneumon fly — n. long and thin insect related to and resembles a wasp …   English contemporary dictionary

  • ichneumon fly — noun (C) an insect that lays eggs on or inside the larva of another insect …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • ichneumon fly — /ɪkˈnjumən flaɪ/ (say ik nyoohmuhn fluy) noun any insect belonging to the large hymenopterous family Ichneumonidae, whose larvae are parasites and destroy caterpillars and other larvae …   Australian English dictionary

  • ichneumon — [ik no͞o′mən, iknyo͞o′mən] n. [L < Gr ichneumōn, ichneumon, lit., tracker < ichneuein, to track out, hunt after < ichnos, a track, footprint (from its supposed practice of locating and destroying crocodile eggs)] 1. the Egyptian mongoose …   English World dictionary

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