cochineal insect definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
any of a family (Dactylopiidae) of scale insects, esp. one (Dactylopius coccus) that has a brilliant-red body fluid, feeds on certain cactuses, is found chiefly in Mexico, and was formerly much used as a source of cochineal
cochineal insect definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Any of several red scale insects of the family Dactylopiidae that feed on cacti, especially the prickly pear, and range from the southwest United States to Central America.