Meaning of cochineal insect

coch'ineal in"sect

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. 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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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