- any of numerous small, plant-sucking homopterous insects of the superfamily Coccoidea, the males of which are winged and the females wingless, often covered by a waxy secretion resembling scales.
Origin of scale insect
First recorded in 1830–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for scale insect
Cochineal is the dried scale-insect Coccus cacti, which lives on certain of the cactus plants of Mexico and elsewhere.
- any small homopterous insect of the family Coccidae and related families, which typically live and feed on plants and secrete a protective scale around themselves. Many species, such as the San Jose scale, are important pests
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- Any of various small homopterous insects of the superfamily Coccoidea that suck the juices of plants, the females of which secrete and remain under waxy scales on plant tissue.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.