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Scale insect

Scale \Scale\, n. [Cf. AS. scealu, scalu, a shell, parings; akin to D. schaal, G. schale, OHG. scala, Dan. & Sw. skal a shell, Dan. ski[ae]l a fish scale, Goth. skalja tile, and E. shale, shell, and perhaps also to scale of a balance; but perhaps rather fr. OF. escale, escaile, F. ['e]caille scale of a fish, and ['e]cale shell of beans, pease, eggs, nuts, of German origin, and akin to Goth. skalja, G. schale. See Shale.]

  1. (Anat.) One of the small, thin, membranous, bony or horny pieces which form the covering of many fishes and reptiles, and some mammals, belonging to the dermal part of the skeleton, or dermoskeleton. See Cycloid, Ctenoid, and Ganoid.

    Fish that, with their fins and shining scales, Glide under the green wave.

  2. Hence, any layer or leaf of metal or other material, resembling in size and thinness the scale of a fish; as, a scale of iron, of bone, etc.

  3. (Zo["o]l.) One of the small scalelike structures covering parts of some invertebrates, as those on the wings of Lepidoptera and on the body of Thysanura; the elytra of certain annelids. See Lepidoptera.

  4. (Zo["o]l.) A scale insect. (See below.)

  5. (Bot.) A small appendage like a rudimentary leaf, resembling the scales of a fish in form, and often in arrangement; as, the scale of a bud, of a pine cone, and the like. The name is also given to the chaff on the stems of ferns.

  6. The thin metallic side plate of the handle of a pocketknife. See Illust. of Pocketknife.

  7. An incrustation deposit on the inside of a vessel in which water is heated, as a steam boiler.

  8. (Metal.) The thin oxide which forms on the surface of iron forgings. It consists essentially of the magnetic oxide, Fe3O4. Also, a similar coating upon other metals.

    Covering scale (Zo["o]l.), a hydrophyllium.

    Ganoid scale. (Zo["o]l.) See under Ganoid.

    Scale armor (Mil.), armor made of small metallic scales overlapping, and fastened upon leather or cloth.

    Scale beetle (Zo["o]l.), the tiger beetle.

    Scale carp (Zo["o]l.), a carp having normal scales.

    Scale insect (Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of small hemipterous insects belonging to the family Coccid[ae], in which the females, when adult, become more or less scalelike in form. They are found upon the leaves and twigs of various trees and shrubs, and often do great damage to fruit trees. See Orange scale,under Orange.

    Scale moss (Bot.), any leafy-stemmed moss of the order Hepatic[ae]; -- so called from the small imbricated scalelike leaves of most of the species. See Hepatica, 2, and Jungermannia.

scale insect

n. Any of the small parasitic insects of the superfamily Coccoidea, that live on plants and sap nutrients from them.

scale insect

n. small homopterous insect that usually lives and feeds on plants and secretes a protective waxy covering

Scale insect

The scale insects are small insects of the order Hemiptera, suborder Sternorrhyncha. They comprise the superfamily Coccoidea, previously placed in the now obsolete group called " Homoptera". There are about 8,000 described species of scale insects.

Usage examples of "scale insect".

A scale insect sucks out plant juices with mouthparts like a fine straw, often injecting toxic substances or viruses.

The process of wind-etching began with the collection of the scale insect Laccifera arctica, which lived on the twigs of certain plants native to the northern near-polar regions.