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cochineal insect

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noun

any of various small red scale insects of the family Dactylopiidae, related to the mealybugs and characterized by an oval segmented body with white waxy plates and short legs and antennae: the source of cochineal.

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Origin of cochineal insect

First recorded in 1795–1805
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
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