Cochineal bugs at cacti farm, Mexico

Cochineal bugs at cacti farm, Mexico

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Credit: JIM WEST/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cochineal bugs at cacti farm. Close-up of cochineal bugs (Dactylopius coccus), some of which have been crushed to show the natural red dye carmine for which they are cultivated. The cochineal bugs are small white scale insects that grow on the paddles of Opuntia cacti (also called the nopal or prickly pear cactus). Photographed in 2016, at Rancho La Nopalera, San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.

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