Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Porphyrophora polonica

Porphyrophora polonica (Linnaeus, 1858)

polish cochineal scale, polish carmin scale


Porphyrophora polonica: adult female

adult female, with exuvium (from Köhler)


Adult female oval, deep red; up to 7 mm long; at the root. Frontal feet with striking adaptations to digging. Univoltine. hibernation as first instar larva, still in the egg; adults in June.

host plants

Gypsophila fastigiata; Scleranthus perennis.

Knawel is the main host plant.


For many ages an important source of carmin for the dying of textiles. For its cultivation knawel plantations were in use in north-eastern Europe. The introduction of the cochineal, around 1540, put an end to its importance.


Jansen (1999b), Köhler (2011a), Lauterer (2011b), Malumphy, Ostrauskas & Pye (2008a), Żak-Ogaza & Koteja (1964a).

Last modified 22.ii.2020