from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A cuckoo-fly or ichneumon. See Ichneumonidæ.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
There are five weak things that are a source of terror to the strong: -- The mosquito is a terror to the lion, the gnat is a terror to the elephant, the ichneumon-fly is a terror to the scorpion, the flycatcher is a terror to the eagle, and the stickleback is a terror to the leviathan.
What of the infinite goodness of God in teaching the grub of the ichneumon-fly to eat up the cabbage caterpillar alive?
The ichneumon-fly lays its eggs under the skin of the caterpillar.
When I see the large ichneumon-fly, Thalessa, making a loop over her back with her long ovipositor and drilling a hole in the trunk of a tree, I do not fully appreciate the spectacle till I know she is feeling for the burrow of a tree-borer, Tremex, upon the larvae of which her own young feed.
After a few days we saw, from more than three fourths of them, about eight or ten little caterpillars of the ichneumon-fly come out of their backs, and spin each a small cocoon of silk, and in a few days the large caterpillars died.
The young caterpillars of the gadfly placed in the skins of cows, and the young of the ichneumon-fly placed in the backs of the caterpillars on cabbages, seem to produce their nourishment by their irritating the sides of their nidus.
There is one species of ichneumon-fly, that digs a hole in the earth, and carrying into it two or three living caterpillars, deposits her eggs, and nicely closing up the nest leaves them there; partly doubtless to assist the incubation, and partly to supply food to her future young, (Derham.