Definitions for ichneumonidae

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ichneumonidae

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  1. Ichneumonidae, family Ichneumonidae(noun)

    ichneumon flies

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  1. Ichneumonidae

    The Ichneumonidae are a family within the order Hymenoptera. Insects in this family are commonly called ichneumon wasps. Less exact terms are ichneumon flies, or scorpion wasps due to the extreme lengthening and curving of the abdomen. Simply but ambiguously, these insects are commonly called "ichneumons", which is also a term for the Egyptian mongoose; ichneumonids is often encountered as a less ambiguous alternative. Ichneumon wasps are important parasitoids of other insects. Common hosts are larvae and pupae of Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera. Over 60,000 species occur worldwide, with about 3,000 in North America - more than any other Hymenoptera family. The distribution of Ichneumonidae is one of the most notable exceptions to the common latitudinal gradient in species diversity because it shows greater speciation at high latitudes than at low latitudes. Charles Darwin discussed the Ichneumonidae with regard to his views on religion; see Darwin and the Ichneumonidae, below.


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