/ik nooh"meuhn, -nyooh"-/, n.
1. Also called African mongoose. a slender, long-tailed mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, inhabiting Africa and southern Europe, and believed by the ancient Egyptians to devour crocodile eggs.
[1565-75; < L < Gk ichneúmon tracker, equiv. to ichneú(ein) to track (see ICHNO-) + -mon agent suffix]

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      small carnivorous mammal, a species of mongoose (q.v.).

 any of a large and widely distributed insect group (order Hymenoptera) of considerable economic importance. The name sometimes refers to any member of the superfamily Ichneumonoidea, which includes the families Stephanidae, Braconidae, and Ichneumonidae. The Stephanidae, a largely tropical group, consists of several hundred species, and the Braconidae is a large, widely distributed group found in both temperate and tropical regions.

      About 40,000 ichneumon species are known. Adults vary considerably in shape, colour, and size, averaging about 1.2 cm (about 1/2 inch) long. The largest ichneumons of North America, those of the genus Megarhyssa, reach 5 cm in length. Most species resemble wasps in having a long, slender, curved abdomen. They usually differ from the stinging wasps in having longer antennae with more segments, or sections. The ovipositor, or egg-laying organ, is often longer than the body. Many species have a dark spot on the fore wing.

      Ichneumons parasitize (parasitism) many insect groups, especially Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), Coleoptera (beetles), and other Hymenoptera. Some utilize spiders as hosts. Thus, the group as a whole is beneficial to humans because it parasitizes many insect pests. A relatively small number of species parasitize beneficial insects.

      The females lay their eggs in or on the larvae or pupae (rarely eggs or adults) of the host. The ichneumon larva feeds on the fats and body fluids of the host until fully grown, then usually spins a silken cocoon. The species that parasitize hosts in open habitats usually develop as internal parasites, whereas those that attack hosts in concealed places, such as wood burrows, usually feed on the host externally. In most cases a single larva develops in one host. However, in some cases, many larvae develop in a single host.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ichneumon — ? Ichneumon Ichneumon suspiciosus Научная классификация Царство …   Википедия

  • Ichneumon — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Herpestes ichneumon …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ichneumon — (Zeichnung von Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber) Systematik Überordnung: Laurasiatheria …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ichneumon — [ iknømɔ̃ ] n. m. • 1562; « mangouste » 1547; mot lat., du gr. ikhneumôn « qui suit à la piste » ♦ Zool. Insecte hyménoptère térébrant (ichneumonidés) dont la larve est parasite des chenilles. ● ichneumon nom masculin (latin ichneumon, onis, du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • ICHNEUMON — Heracleopolitis olim cultus, Clem Alex. Protrept. p. 19. et Aelian. de Anim. l. 10. c. 47. ubi et Latonae ac Lucinae eos sacros fuisse, scribit. Arsinoitis contra neglectus, ut quibus crocodili summo in honore erant, quorum ova non solum… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • 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

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ichneumon — can mean: *The ichneumon wasps *The Egyptian Mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon *A supposed animal described in medieval writings: see Ichneumon (In medieval zoology) …   Wikipedia

  • Ichneumon — Ichneumon, 1) Herpestes Ill., Mangiste Oliv. Cuv., Raubthiergattung aus der Familie der Viverrinen, mit sechs Backenzähnen oben u. unten jederseits, von denen die drei ersten Lückenzähne sind u. der erste im Oberkiefer leicht ausfällt; die… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Ichneumon — (Manguste, Herpestes Ill.), Raubtiergattung aus der Familie der Schleichkatzen (Viverridae), Zehengänger mit gestrecktem Körper, kleinem oder mittelgroßem Kopf, spitziger Schnauze, kurzer, nackter Nase, abgerundeten, kurzen Ohren, niedrigen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ichneumon — (Herpestes Ichneumon), marderähnliches Raubsäugethier, ohne den langen, mit einem Haarbüschel versehenen Schwanz gegen 1 lang, schlank, findet sich in Nordafrika, besonders in Aegypten, lebt von Mäusen, Schlangen, Fröschen, auch von Eiern,… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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