Any carnivorous mammal of the genus Herpestes, and
family Viverridae. Numerous species are found in Asia and Africa. The
Egyptian species(H. ichneumon), which ranges to Spain and Palestine, is
noted for destroying the eggs and young of the crocodile as well as
various snakes and lizards, and hence was considered sacred by the
ancient Egyptians. The common species of India (H. griseus), known as
the mongoose, has similar habits and is often domesticated. It is noted
for killing the cobra.
Any hymenopterous insect of the family Ichneumonidae, of
which several thousand species are known, belonging to numerous genera.