One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of an animal) able to feed on various kinds of food.
- ‘The two-spotted spider mite and the armyworm S. exigua both are extremely polyphagous herbivores that share many host plant species, have a similar global distribution, and can occur on the same plant species.’
- ‘Their function as polyphagous predators within orchards was recognized in the 1800's, and several species are known to prey on key tree fruit pests.’
- ‘In contrast, only 28% of polyphagous herbivore species had lower densities in polycultures, versus 40% with higher densities in polycultures.’
- ‘Although these fruit flies are polyphagous, they typically show strong seasonal preferences for certain fruits.’
- ‘This polyphagous species is widely distributed in the Palearctic region and appears to have colonized South and North America within the last several decades.’
Early 19th century: from Greek poluphagos ‘eating to excess’ + -ous.
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