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see mongoosemongoose,
name for a large number of small, carnivorous, terrestrial Old World mammals of the civet family. They are found in S Asia and in Africa, with one species extending into S Spain.
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(Herpestes ichneumon), also African mongoose, a predatory mammal of the genus Herpestes of the family Viverridae. The body length measures up to 65 cm, and the tail length up to 50 cm. The fur is brownish gray. The tail is covered with long hairs.

The ichneumon is distributed in North Africa, Asia Minor, and southwestern Europe (Iberian Peninsula); it has become acclimatized in Yugoslavia, in Italy, and on the island of Madagascar. It lives in thickets, sometimes near human habitation. A nocturnal animal, it feeds on small rodents, birds, snakes, and insects. It is beneficial for its extermination of snakes, but, contrary to popular belief, it is susceptible to their venom. The ichneumon sometimes destroys poultry.


(invertebrate zoology)
The common name for members of the family Ichneumonidae.


a mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, of Africa and S Europe, having greyish-brown speckled fur
References in periodicals archive ?
The ichneumon has to do a fair amount of reconnaissance to find them.
The ichneumon slides her long ovipositor into the hole and lays eggs inside the horntail larvae.
He collected one specimen of an ichneumon at the highest point, and Betty felt redeemed by that fortuitous find.
Now, it is usual in Sanskrit studies to speak of the mongoose as an 'ichneumon' (or, in German, 'Ichneumon'), a learned word borrowed from Greek ([LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'weasel, mongoose [vel sim.]', literally 'tracker'): Mayrhofer 1992: 2, who confidently renders nakula- as 'Ichneumon, Viverra ichneumon [sic]', may be taken as representative.
It is well known that ichneumons are famous for their smell.