Ichneumon

Definition of Ichneumon

Ich`neu´mon
n.1.(Zool.) Any carnivorous mammal of the genus Herpestes, and family Viverridæ. 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.
2.(Zool.) Any hymenopterous insect of the family Ichneumonidæ, of which several thousand species are known, belonging to numerous genera.
Ichneumon fly
See Ichneumon, 2.

Related Words

Herpestes ichneumon, mongoose
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