- 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
- 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.
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