Ze"bra(?), n. [Pg. zebra; cf. Sp. cebra; probably from a native African name.] (Zol.) Any member of three species of African wild horses remarkable for having the body white or yellowish white, and conspicuously marked with dark brown or brackish bands.
The true or mountain zebra (Equus zebra syn. Asinus zebra) is nearly white, and the bands which cover the body and legs are glossy black. Its tail has a tuft of black hair at the tip. It inhabits the mountains of Central and Southern Africa, and is noted for its wariness and wildness, as well as for its swiftness. The second species (Equus Burchellii syn. Asinus Burchellii or Equus quagga), known as Burchell's zebra, plains zebra, and dauw, is the most abundant, inhabiting the grassy plains of tropical and southern Africa, and differing from the preceding in not having dark bands on the legs, while those on the body are more irregular. It has a long tail, covered with long white flowing hair. Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi) is distinct from the others in being placed in the subgenus
Dolichohippus, whereas the plains and mountain zebras are placed in the subgenus
Hippotigris. More on zebras can be found at:
[1913 Webster +PJC]
Zebra caterpillar, the larva of an American noctuid moth (Mamestra picta). It is light yellow, with a broad black stripe on the back and one on each side; the lateral stripes are crossed with withe lines. It feeds on cabbages, beets, clover, and other cultivated plants. --
Zebra opossum, the zebra wolf. See under Wolf. --
Zebra parrakeet, an Australian grass parrakeet, often kept as a cage bird. Its upper parts are mostly pale greenish yellow, transversely barred with brownish black crescents; the under parts, rump, and upper tail coverts, are bright green; two central tail feathers and the cheek patches are blue. Called also
shell parrot, and
undulated parrot. --
(Bot.), a poisonous tree (Euphorbia arborea) of the Spurge family, found in South Africa. Its milky juice is so poisonous that zebras have been killed by drinking water in which its branches had been placed, and it is also used as an arrow poison.
J. Smith (Dict. Econ. Plants). --
Zebra shark. Same as
Tiger shark, under Tiger. --
Zebra spider, a hunting spider. --
Zebra swallowtail, a very large North American swallow-tailed butterfly (Iphiclides ajax), in which the wings are yellow, barred with black; -- called also
Zebra wolf. See under Wolf.
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Wed 12th December 2018