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. The word "kermes" is derived from Arabic/Persian qirmiz (قرمز), which means "red" or "crimson" (probably via Middle Persian, from (ultimately) Sanskrit कृमिज kṛmi-jā meaning "worm-made"American Heritage Dictionary s.v. Kermes, also Kluge, "Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache", s.v. Karmesin, et al.).