One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of predatory insects of the family Myrmeleontidae (order Neuroptera), the adults of which resemble dragonflies; (also myrmeleon) an insect of this genus; an ant lion.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Gilbert White (1720–1793), naturalist. From scientific Latin Myrmeleon (Linnaeus Systema Naturae (ed. 12, 1767) I. ii. 913), contracted from post-classical Latin myrmecoleon, mirmicoleon (Jerome's edition of the Vetus Latina of Job) from Hellenistic Greek μυρμηκολέων (Septuagint, Job 4:11, where the Masoretic text has Hebrew lāyiš mature or old lion) from ancient Greek μυρμηκο- + λέων.
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