cochineal

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Related to Dactylopius coccus: Cochineal scale

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 ?
Morfologia de Dactylopius coccus Costa (Homoptera: Dactylopiidae) y su biologia y reproduccion en dos fotoperiodos.
Ovariole structure of the cochineal scale insect, Dactylopius coccus.
Ultraestructura del germario de Dactylopius coccus costa, 1829 (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Dactylopiidae).
Determinacion de acido carminico en dos generaciones de Dactylopius coccus Costa mediante cultivo hidroponico en nopal.
Relacion del aparato reproductor femenino de Dactylopius coccus Costa (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) en la sintesis del acido carminico.
Caracteristicas biologicas de la grana cochinilla del nopal Dactylopius coccus Costa, pp.
Biologia y morfologia de la cochinilla de carmin, Dactylopius coccus Costa (Homopt.
Biosistematics of the family Dactylopiidae (Homoptera: Coccinea) with emphasis on the life cycle of Dactylopius coccus Costa.
Ovariole structure of cochineal scale insect, Dactylopius coccus.
Fecundidad potencial de Dactylopius coccus (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) bajo condiciones de invemadero.
Dactylopius coccus Costa, 1829 (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) es de gran importancia comercial para la obtencion del colorante rojo acido carminico, el cual tiene infinidad de aplicaciones en diferentes industrias (M6ndez-Gallegos et al.