Nopal cacti at cochineal farm, Mexico

Nopal cacti at cochineal farm, Mexico

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Credit: JIM WEST/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nopal cacti at cochineal farm. These Opuntia cacti (also called the nopal or prickly pear cactus) are used to cultivate the cochineal bug (Dactylopius coccus) from which the natural red dye carmine is made. The cacti are grown outside and later moved inside to be infested with the cochineal bugs, 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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Keywords: 2016, 21st century, agricultural, agriculture, animal, biological, biology, botanical, botany, bug, bugs, cacti, cactus, carmine, cochineal, dactylopius coccus, dye, entomological, entomology, farm, farming, fauna, field, flora, industrial, industry, insect, insects, mexican, mexico, nature, no-one, nobody, nopal cactus, north american, oaxaca, opuntia, outdoors, outside, plant, prickly pear cactus, rancho la nopalera, red dye, san bartolo coyotepec, zoological, zoology

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