Other articles where Dactylopius coccus is discussed: cochineal: of certain female scale insects, Dactylopius coccus, of the Coccidae family, cactus-eating. Note that, unlike with the Sagebrush Mealybug, only predators but no parasitoids have been found attacking Dactylopius, possibly because the carminic acid. The cochineal, Dactylopius coccus, is a scale insect in the family Coccidae, and is native to tropical and subtropical South America and Mexico. As a protective.


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The controlled method uses small baskets called Zapotec nests placed on host cacti.

Dactylopius coccus | insect |

The baskets contain clean, fertile females that leave the nests and settle dactylopius coccus the cactus to await fertilization by the males. In both cases, the cochineals must be protected from predationcold, and rain.


At the end of the cycle, the new cochineals are left to reproduce dactylopius coccus are collected and dried for dye production. Harvesting the insects is labour-intensive, as dactylopius coccus must be individually knocked, brushed, or picked from the cacti and placed into bags.


The insects are gathered by small groups of collectors who sell them to local processors or exporters. Of all the predators, insects seem to be the most important group. Insects and their larvae such as dactylopius coccus moths order Lepidopterawhich destroy the cactus, and predators such as lady bugs Coleopteravarious Diptera such as Syrphidae and Chamaemyiidaelacewings Neuropteraand ants Hymenoptera have been identified, as well as numerous parasitic wasps.

Many birds, human- commensal rodents especially rats and reptiles also prey on cochineal insects.

Dactylopius coccus

In regions dependent on cochineal production, pest control measures are taken seriously. For small-scale cultivation, manual methods of control have proved to be the safest and most effective.

For large-scale cultivation, advanced pest control methods have to be developed, including dactylopius coccus bioinsecticides or traps with pheromones.

Captain Arthur Phillip collected a number of cochineal-infested plants from Brazil on his way to establish the first European settlement at Botany Bay, part dactylopius coccus which is now SydneyNew South Wales. At that time, Spain and Portugal had dactylopius coccus worldwide cochineal dye monopoly via their New World colonial sources, and the British desired a source under their own control, as the dye was important to their clothing and garment industries; it was used to colour the British soldiers' red coatsfor example.

The nymphs secrete a waxy white substance over their bodies for protection from water loss and excessive sun.

This substance makes the cochineal insect appear white or grey from the outside, though dactylopius coccus body of the insect and its nymphs produces the red pigment, which makes the insides of the insect look dark purple.

Adult males can be distinguished from females in that males have wings, and are much smaller. The juveniles move to a feeding spot and produce long wax filaments. Later, they move to the edge of the cactus pad, where the wind catches the wax filaments and carries the insects to a new host.

These individuals establish feeding sites on the new host and produce a new generation of dactylopius coccus.

Opuntia Cochineal Scale - Dactylopius coccus - Details - Encyclopedia of Life

At this time, they can no longer feed at all and live only long enough to fertilise the eggs. They have been widely introduced to many regions where their host cacti also grow.

About species of Opuntia cacti are known, and while it is possible to cultivate cochineal on almost dactylopius coccus of them, the most common is Opuntia ficus-indica. Other cochineal species feed on many of the same Opuntia, and the wide range of hosts reported for Dactylopius coccus.

Cochineals are farmed in the traditional method by planting infected cactus pads or infesting existing cacti with cochineals and harvesting the insects by hand.

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The controlled method uses small baskets called Zapotec nests placed on host cacti. At the end of the s development of synthetic pigments such as alizarin started to replace carmine and caused a decline in carmine industry, but carmine production has resurged in popularity of late, especially after many synthetic red dyes started to show carcinogenic properties, and is now used primarily for food, clothing and cosmetic coloring.

The phrases "cochineal extract", "carmine", "crimson lake", "natural red 4", "C. Cochineal insects are soft-bodied, flat, oval-shaped scale insects. Hybrid Material Synthesis Ten grams Dactylopius coccus the biosynthesis of AgNPs, different volumes 0.

dactylopius coccus The analyses were conducted in a background electrolyte solution of 0. Prior to each analysis, dissolved oxygen in the KCl solution was removed by bubbling with N2 g for 15 min.

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