Southwest on cactus and other desert plants. A species occurring in India, Laccifer lacca (Kern), is the source of lac, which is used in making shellac and varnishes.

PIT SCALES Family Asterolecaniidae Not illus.

Female pit scales are small and oval. Body covered with a tough waxy film or embedded in a mass of wax. Legs vestigial or lacking. Antennae short and 4- to 6-segmented. The wax of Cerococcus quercus Comstock, a pit scale occurring on oak in the Southwest, has been used as chewing gum by the Indians.

MEALYBUGS Families Pseudococcidae and Eriococcidae

These are elongate-oval insects with well-developed legs. Bodies of most of them (Pseudococcidae) are covered with a waxy secretion; some (Eriococcidae) have body bare or only lightly covered with wax. Mealybugs often are pests of citrus and greenhouse plants.

COCHINEAL INSECTS Family Dactylopiidae Not illus.

Cochineal insects are similar to mealybugs but are red, and the body is covered with white waxy plates. They occur in the Southwest on cactus. One species has been used by Indians as the source of a crimson dye.

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