Cacti farm for cochineal insects, Mexico

Cacti farm for cochineal insects, Mexico

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Caption: Cacti farm for cochineal insects. Farmer with Opuntia cacti (also called the nopal or prickly pear cactus) that are being used to cultivate the cochineal bug (Dactylopius coccus) from which the natural red dye carmine is made. The cochineal bugs are small white scale insects that grow on the paddles of the cacti. The insects are crushed to obtain the dye. Photographed in 2016, at Rancho La Nopalera, San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.

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