Kermes (insect)

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Kermes echinatus Balachowsky mature reproductive females - ZooKeys-246-011-g002.jpeg
Kermes echinatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
Superfamily: Coccoidea
Family: Kermesidae
Genus: Kermes
Latreille, 1798

See text

Kermes is a genus of scale insects in the order Hemiptera. They feed on the sap of evergreen oaks; the females produce a red dye, also called "kermes", that is the source of natural crimson.[1] The word "kermes" is derived from Arabic/Persian qirmiz (قرمز), which means "red" or "crimson" (probably via Middle Persian, from (ultimately) Sanskrit कृमिज kṛmi-ja meaning "worm-made"[2]).

There are six species:


  1. ^ Naturenet article with images and description of Kermes vermilio and its foodplant
  2. ^ American Heritage Dictionary s.v. Kermes, also Kluge, "Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache", s.v. Karmesin, et al.

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