ichneumon fly

or ich·neu·mon·fly

[ik-noo-muh n-flahy, ‐nyoo‐]


any of numerous wasplike insects of the family Ichneumonidae, the larvae of which are parasitic on caterpillars and immature stages of other insects.

Origin of ichneumon fly

First recorded in 1705–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ichneumon fly

Historical Examples of ichneumon fly

  • The ichneumon-fly lays its eggs under the skin of the caterpillar.

    God and my Neighbour

    Robert Blatchford

  • She lets loose an army of worms upon the forests, and then sends an ichneumon-fly to check them.

    Under the Maples

    John Burroughs

  • The ichneumon-fly lays eggs under the skin of the caterpillar.

  • What of the infinite goodness of God in teaching the grub of the ichneumon-fly to eat up the cabbage caterpillar alive?

    God and my Neighbour

    Robert Blatchford

  • A large Ichneumon-fly has been found hunting after the worms, and is considered their natural enemy.

    American Pomology

    J. A. Warder

British Dictionary definitions for ichneumon fly

ichneumon fly

ichneumon wasp


any hymenopterous insect of the family Ichneumonidae, whose larvae are parasitic in caterpillars and other insect larvae
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012