Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Cochineal: a closer look

with 4 comments

This morning’s post showed the pad of a prickly pear cactus, Opuntia engelmannii, that had lots of cochineal insects, Dactylopius coccus, on it. Here’s a closeup to give you an even better look at the chaotic, colorful, and some would say gory details.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

4 Responses

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  1. That is so odd and fascinating! Never seen such a thing. Looks like raspberry jam.


    February 13, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    • Somehow I don’t think it would taste as good as raspberry jam, but you’d certainly get more of a rasping from the hidden glochids than you bargained for.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 13, 2012 at 2:44 PM

  2. I thought it was squashed raspberries mixed into very white rice with crushed nuts and seeds. I admit however that I looked at that this while eating my brekkie consisting of brown rice and oat porridge with nuts and seeds 🙂

    Claire Takacs

    February 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    • Ah, the powers of association and suggestion. You and Sarah both saw the same more-palatable thing: raspberries.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 13, 2012 at 3:10 PM

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