cochineal

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cochineal

(kŏchĭnēl`, kŏch`ĭnēl), natural dye obtained from an extract of the bodies of the females of the cochineal bug (Dactylopius confusus) found on certain species of cactus, especially Nopalea coccinellifera, native to Mexico and Central America. The insects' bodies contain the pigment called carminic acid, which is obtained by subjecting a mass of the crushed insects to steam or dry heat; such large numbers of the insects are needed to produce a small amount of dye that the cost is high. Once commonly used as a scarlet-red mordant dye for wool and as a food color, cochineal has been largely replaced by synthetic products. It is used chiefly now as a biological stain.

Cochineal

 

the general name for several species of insects of various families of the suborder Cocciodea, the females of which are used to make a red dye called carmine. Mexican cochineal (Dactylopius coccus), the most highly valued species, lives on the cochineal cactus. Native to Mexico, it is also cultivated in Central America, Western Europe (Spain), North Africa, and eastern Asia and has almost entirely replaced other species on the world market. Other cochineal species include Armenian cochineal (Porphyrophora hamelii ), which is found in Armenia on the roots of grasses, and Polish cochineal (P. polonicd), found in Western Europe and the European USSR on the roots of strawberries and other herbaceous plants. In the 20th century the development of synthetic dyes has sharply reduced the cultivation of cochineal insects, although natural carmine is still used in some industries, such as food processing and perfume manufacture, and for staining microscopic preparations.

cochineal

[′käch·ə‚nēl]
(chemistry)
A red dye made of the dried bodies of the female cochineal insect (Coccus cacti), found in Central America and Mexico; used as a biological stain and indicator.

cochineal

1. a Mexican homopterous insect, Dactylopius coccus, that feeds on cacti
2. 
a. the colour of this dye
b. (as adjective): cochineal shoes
References in periodicals archive ?
The experiment was conducted on to determine the effect natural diets (Aphis nerii) on the biology of Coccinella transversalis Fab.
Coccinella transversoguttata richardsoni Brown, a native species once widely distributed in North America (Gordon, 1985), was also tested in 2011.
About 6% species, including Coccinella septempunctata, Culex pipiens, Mantis religiosa and Physopelta gutta preferred to live on or utilized fours species of weeds.
Red Dahlia stayed on too well for Coccinella, the mount of visiting Australian Brad McLean, to take the two-mile-fivefurlong handicap hurdle.
3 05-05 to 05-19 Zenodosus sanguineus (Say) 3 05-05 to 05-19 Coccinellidae Brachiacantha rotunda Gordon 3 06-16 to 07-14 Coccinella septempunctata L.
Thus, the three species in the genus Coccinella, (7-spotted, 3-banded, and transverse), have a quite similar pattern on the pronotum.
On the contrary, lady beetles (Coccrnella quinqempunctata and Coccinella septempunctata) were observed on a greater proportion of the plan ts placed outside the Myrica thickets.
the sweet clover weevil, Sitone cylindricollis (Hans 1961); the ladybug, Coccinella septempunctata (Hodek 1962); Pyrrhocoris apterus (Hodek 1971, 1974); the flesh fly, Sarcophaga bullata (Denlinger 1972); the thrips, Anaphothrips obscurus (Kamm 1972); and the lacewings Chrysopa carnea and Chrysopa harrisii (Tauber and Tauber 1973, 1974).
One of the most successful non-native predators is Coccinella septempunctata, the sevenspotted lady beetle.
Five species viz; Coccinella septempunctata (Linnaeus 1758), Hippodamia variegata (Goeze 1777), Menochilus sexmaculatus (Fabricius 1781), Micraspis allardi (Mulsant 1853) and Propylea dissecta (Mulsant 1850) belonged to tribe Coccinellini (Latreille 1807) of subfamily Coccinellinae (Latreille 1807).