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Cochineal
The cochineal ( , ; ''Dactylopius coccus'') is a scale insect in the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the natural dye carmine is derived. A primarily sessile parasite native to tropical and subtropical South America through North America (Mexico and the Southwest United States), this insect lives on cacti in the genus ''Opuntia'', feeding on plant moisture and nutrients. The insects are found on the pads of prickly pear cacti, collected by brushing them off the plants, and dried. The insect produces carminic acid that deters predation by other insects. Carminic acid, typically 17–24% of dried insects' weight, can be extracted from the body and eggs, then mixed with aluminium or calcium salts to make carmine dye, also known as cochineal. Today, carmine is primarily used as a colorant in food and in lipstick ( E120 or Natural Red 4). Carmine dye was used in the Americas for coloring fabrics and became an important export good in the 16th century during the colonial ...
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Polish Cochineal
Polish cochineal (''Porphyrophora polonica''), also known as Polish carmine scales, is a scale insect formerly used to produce a crimson dye of the same name, colloquially known as "Saint John's blood". The larvae of ''P. polonica'' are sessile parasites living on the roots of various herbs—especially those of the perennial knawel—growing on the sandy soils of Central Europe and other parts of Eurasia. Before the development of aniline, alizarin, and other synthetic dyes, the insect was of great economic importance, although its use was in decline after the introduction of Mexican cochineal to Europe in the 16th century. Biology Life cycle In mid-July, the female Polish cochineal lays approximately 600-700 eggs, encased with a white waxy ootheca, in the ground. When the larvae hatch in late August or early September, they do not leave the egg case but remain inside until the end of winter. In late March or early April, the larvae emerge from the ground to ...
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Armenian Cochineal
The Armenian cochineal (''Porphyrophora hamelii''), also known as the Ararat cochineal or Ararat scale, is a scale insect indigenous to the Ararat plain and Aras (Araks) River valley in the Armenian Highlands and in Turkey. It was formerly used to produce an eponymous crimson carmine dyestuff known in Armenia as ''vordan karmir'' ( hy, որդան կարմիր, literally "worm's red") and historically in Persia as ''kirmiz''. Vedeler, citing Cardon (2007), notes that "the Persian name ''Kirmiz'' originally referred to the Armenian carmine, a parasitic insect living on Gramineae grass, but the same name was also used by Arab geographers for insects living on oak trees in Maghreb and Al-Andalus, probably referring to '' Kermes vermilio''", although " is ... not clear whether the 'Kirmiz' dyestuff mentioned in early Arab texts always refers to the use of the insect ''Kermes Vermilio''." English translation by Caroline Higgitt of Cardon's French-language book ''Le monde ...
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Dactylopius
''Dactylopius'' is a genus of insect in the superfamily Coccoidea, the scale insects. It is the only genus in the family Dactylopiidae.Van Dam, A. R. and B. May. (2012)A new species of ''Dactylopius'' Costa (''Dactylopius gracilipilus'' sp. nov.) (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Dactylopiidae) from the Chihuahuan Desert, Texas, U.S.A.''Zootaxa'' 3573: 33–39. These insects are known commonly as cochineals,Ramírez-Puebla, S. T., et al. (2010)Molecular phylogeny of the genus ''Dactylopius'' (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) and identification of the symbiotic bacteria. ''Environmental Entomology'' 39(4), 1178-83.Chávez-Moreno, C. K., et al. (2011)Distribution and habitat in Mexico of ''Dactylopius'' Costa (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) and their cacti hosts (Cactaceae: Opuntioideae).''Neotropical Entomology'' 40(1), 62-71. a name that also specifically refers to the best-known species, the cochineal (''Dactylopius coccus''). The cochineal is an insect of economic and historical importance as a main so ...
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Carmine
Carmine ()also called cochineal (when it is extracted from the cochineal insect), cochineal extract, crimson lake, or carmine lake is a pigment of a bright- red color obtained from the aluminium complex derived from carminic acid. Specific code names for the pigment include natural red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120. ''Carmine'' is also a general term for a particularly deep-red color. Etymology The English word "carmine" is derived from the French word ''carmin'' (12th century), from Medieval Latin ''carminium'', from Persian ''qirmiz'' ("crimson"), which itself derives from Middle Persian ''carmir'' ("red, crimson"). The Persian term ''carmir'' is likely cognate with Sanskrit ''krimiga'' ("insect-produced"), from ''krmi'' ("worm, insect"). The Persian word for "worm, insect" is ''kirm'', and in Iran (Persia) the red colorant carmine was extracted from the bodies of dead female insects such as '' Kermes vermilio'' and cochineal. The form of the term may also have been infl ...
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Carminic Acid
Carminic acid (C22H20O13) is a red glucosidal hydroxyanthrapurin that occurs naturally in some scale insects, such as the cochineal, Armenian cochineal, and Polish cochineal. The insects produce the acid as a deterrent to predators. An aluminum salt of carminic acid is the coloring agent in carmine, a pigment. Natives of Peru had been producing cochineal dyes for textiles since at least 700 CE. Synonyms are C.I. 75470 and C.I. Natural Red 4. The chemical structure of carminic acid consists of a core anthraquinone structure linked to a glucose sugar unit. Carminic acid was first synthesized in the laboratory by organic chemists in 1991. In 2018, researchers genetically engineered the microbe ''Aspergillus nidulans'' to produce carminic acid. It was previously thought that it contains α-D-glucopyranosyl residue, which was later redetermined to be the β-D-glucopyranosyl anomer. Harvesting from cochineals Carminic acid is commonly harvested from an American species scaled ...
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Carmine
Carmine ()also called cochineal (when it is extracted from the cochineal insect), cochineal extract, crimson lake, or carmine lake is a pigment of a bright- red color obtained from the aluminium complex derived from carminic acid. Specific code names for the pigment include natural red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120. ''Carmine'' is also a general term for a particularly deep-red color. Etymology The English word "carmine" is derived from the French word ''carmin'' (12th century), from Medieval Latin ''carminium'', from Persian ''qirmiz'' ("crimson"), which itself derives from Middle Persian ''carmir'' ("red, crimson"). The Persian term ''carmir'' is likely cognate with Sanskrit ''krimiga'' ("insect-produced"), from ''krmi'' ("worm, insect"). The Persian word for "worm, insect" is ''kirm'', and in Iran (Persia) the red colorant carmine was extracted from the bodies of dead female insects such as '' Kermes vermilio'' and cochineal. The form of the term may also have been infl ...
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Carminic Acid
Carminic acid (C22H20O13) is a red glucosidal hydroxyanthrapurin that occurs naturally in some scale insects, such as the cochineal, Armenian cochineal, and Polish cochineal. The insects produce the acid as a deterrent to predators. An aluminum salt of carminic acid is the coloring agent in carmine, a pigment. Natives of Peru had been producing cochineal dyes for textiles since at least 700 CE. Synonyms are C.I. 75470 and C.I. Natural Red 4. The chemical structure of carminic acid consists of a core anthraquinone structure linked to a glucose sugar unit. Carminic acid was first synthesized in the laboratory by organic chemists in 1991. In 2018, researchers genetically engineered the microbe ''Aspergillus nidulans'' to produce carminic acid. It was previously thought that it contains α-D-glucopyranosyl residue, which was later redetermined to be the β-D-glucopyranosyl anomer. Harvesting from cochineals Carminic acid is commonly harvested from an American species scaled ...
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Dactylopiidae
''Dactylopius'' is a genus of insect in the superfamily Coccoidea, the scale insects. It is the only genus in the family Dactylopiidae.Van Dam, A. R. and B. May. (2012)A new species of ''Dactylopius'' Costa (''Dactylopius gracilipilus'' sp. nov.) (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Dactylopiidae) from the Chihuahuan Desert, Texas, U.S.A.''Zootaxa'' 3573: 33–39. These insects are known commonly as cochineals,Ramírez-Puebla, S. T., et al. (2010)Molecular phylogeny of the genus ''Dactylopius'' (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) and identification of the symbiotic bacteria. ''Environmental Entomology'' 39(4), 1178-83.Chávez-Moreno, C. K., et al. (2011)Distribution and habitat in Mexico of ''Dactylopius'' Costa (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) and their cacti hosts (Cactaceae: Opuntioideae).''Neotropical Entomology'' 40(1), 62-71. a name that also specifically refers to the best-known species, the cochineal (''Dactylopius coccus''). The cochineal is an insect of economic and historical importance as a main so ...
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Opuntia
''Opuntia'', commonly called prickly pear or pear cactus, is a genus of flowering plants in the cactus family Cactaceae. Prickly pears are also known as ''tuna'' (fruit), ''sabra'', ''nopal'' (paddle, plural ''nopales'') from the Nahuatl word for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word for the fruit; or paddle cactus. The genus is named for the Ancient Greek city of Opus, where, according to Theophrastus, an edible plant grew and could be propagated by rooting its leaves. The most common culinary species is the Indian fig opuntia (''O. ficus-indica''). Description ''O. ficus-indica'' is a large, trunk-forming, segmented cactus that may grow to with a crown of over in diameter and a trunk diameter of . Cladodes (large pads) are green to blue-green, bearing few spines up to or may be spineless. Prickly pears typically grow with flat, rounded cladodes (also called platyclades) containing large, smooth, fixed spines and small, hairlike prickles called glochids t ...
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Scale Insect
Scale insects are small insects of the order Hemiptera, suborder Sternorrhyncha. Of dramatically variable appearance and extreme sexual dimorphism, they comprise the infraorder Coccomorpha which is considered a more convenient grouping than the superfamily Coccoidea due to taxonomic uncertainties. Adult females typically have soft bodies and no limbs, and are concealed underneath domed scales, extruding quantities of wax for protection. Some species are hermaphroditic, with a combined ovotestis instead of separate ovaries and testes. Males, in the species where they occur, have legs and sometimes wings, and resemble small flies. Scale insects are herbivores, piercing plant tissues with their mouthparts and remaining in one place, feeding on sap. The excess fluid they imbibe is secreted as honeydew on which sooty mold tends to grow. The insects often have a mutualistic relationship with ants, which feed on the honeydew and protect them from predators. There are about 8,000 des ...
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Hemiptera
Hemiptera (; ) is an order of insects, commonly called true bugs, comprising over 80,000 species within groups such as the cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, assassin bugs, bed bugs, and shield bugs. They range in size from to around , and share a common arrangement of piercing-sucking mouthparts. The name "true bugs" is often limited to the suborder Heteroptera. Entomologists reserve the term ''bug'' for Hemiptera or Heteroptera,Gilbert Waldbauer. ''The Handy Bug Answer Book.'' Visible Ink, 1998p. 1. which does not include other arthropods or insects of other orders such as ants, bees, beetles, or butterflies. In some variations of English, all terrestrial arthropods (including non-insect arachnids, and myriapods) also fall under the colloquial understanding of ''bug''. Many insects with "bug" in their common name, especially in American English, belong to other orders; for example, the lovebug is a fly and the Maybug and ladybug are beetles. The term is also ...
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Sessility (motility)
Sessility is the biological property of an organism describing its lack of a means of self-locomotion. Sessile organisms for which natural ''motility'' is absent are normally immobile. This is distinct from the botanical concept of sessility, which refers to an organism or biological structure attached directly by its base without a stalk. Sessile organisms can move via external forces (such as water currents), but are usually permanently attached to something. Organisms such as corals lay down their own substrate from which they grow. Other sessile organisms grow from a solid such as a rock, dead tree trunk, or a man-made object such as a buoy or ship's hull. Mobility Sessile animals typically have a motile phase in their development. Sponges have a motile larval stage and become sessile at maturity. Conversely, many jellyfish develop as sessile polyps early in their life cycle. In the case of the cochineal, it is in the nymph stage (also called the crawler stage) that the c ...
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