An animal of the Civet family, though it closely resembles the weasels in form and habits. It is about 18 inches long and very slender. It feeds on birds, rats, reptiles, etc., and, though destructive to poultry, is valued for its slaughter of snakes, and destruction of their eggs, of which it is very fond. It also digs up and sucks the crocodile's eggs, and on this account the Egyptians places it among their gods. Ichneumon flies aie a family of insects which deposit their eggs in the bodies of other insects.