from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A large mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) of Africa and southern Europe, having a gray coat and black tail tufts. Also called Egyptian mongoose.
- n. The ichneumon fly.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The Egyptian mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, found in Africa and southern Europe.
- n. The ichneumon wasp.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
- n. Any hymenopterous insect of the family Ichneumonidæ, of which several thousand species are known, belonging to numerous genera.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A carnivorous mammal, a kind of mungoose (Viverra ichneumon of Linnæus, now known as Herpestes ichneumon), found in Egypt, belonging to the subfamily Herpestinæ and family Viverridæ.
- n. [capitalized] A genus of herpestine viverrine mammals, containing the species I. pharaonis. See Herpestes.
- n. In entomology:
- n. [capitalized] A Linnean genus of hymenopterous insects, formerly including most of the pupivorous or parasitic hymenopters, now restricted to certain species of ichneumon-flies which are regarded as typical of the genuine Ichneumonidæ.
- n. A species of the genus Ichneumon or family Ichneumonidæ; an ichneumon-fly; a cuckoo-fly.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. northern African mongoose; in ancient times thought to devour crocodile eggs
Now, _why_ should not the gray Indian mongoose (formerly called the ichneumon, _ (Herpestes griscus_)) destroy poultry in India, as it does elsewhere?
And when the hydrus, which is a kind of ichneumon, perceives this, it penetrates into its mouth, which the bird has caused to open, and descends into its stomach, where it devours its entrails, and then comes forth again.
Go back to Aristotle, and we may listen to him again while he talks of many other kindred insects: of the humble-bee and its kind, of the mason-bee with its hard round nest of clay, of the robber-bees, and of the various wasps and hornets; or (still more curiously and unexpectedly) of the hunter-wasp or 'ichneumon', and how it kills the spider, carries it home to its nest, and lays its eggs in its poor body, that the little wasp-grubs may afterwards be fed.
The Legacy of Greece Essays By: Gilbert Murray, W. R. Inge, J. Burnet, Sir T. L. Heath, D'arcy W. Thompson, Charles Singer, R. W. Livingston, A. Toynbee, A. E. Zimmern, Percy Gardner, Sir Reginald Blomfield
They say there is no creature in nature, however seemingly malign, which doesn't have a benign impact somewhere the ichneumon wasp would seem to come close.
The ichneumon fly, for example, uses spiders and aphids to host its young.
The legendary cruelty of ichneumon wasps also the related digger wasps and tarantula wasps is a leitmotif which will recur in the final two chapters of the book.
This may be a misunderstanding of the mythical conflict between the sun god Ra in the form of an ichneumon and Apophis in the form of a crocodile or a snake. see link.
The ichneumon fly is parasitic in the living bodies of caterpillars and the larvae of other insects.
Of the larger mammals there are large populations of wild boar Sus scrofa, and introduced wild water buffalo Bubalus bubalis; also a number of crested porcupine Hystrix cristata (LR), jackal canis aurea, genet Genetta genetta, Egyptian mongoose Herpestes ichneumon, wild cat Felis sylvestris lybica; and four species of bat.
Marsh (Atilax paludinosus) and large grey mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon), as well as the spotted-necked (Lutra maculicollis) and Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) inhabit the river courses and valleys of the ecoregion, although the Cape clawless otter often wanders far from permanent waters in search of new feeding grounds.