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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

versión On-line ISSN 2007-8706


FLORES-HERNANDEZ, Arnoldo et al. Reproduction of wild cochineal Dactylopius opuntiae (Homoptera: Dactylopiidae). Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2006, vol.77, n.1, pp. 97-102. ISSN 2007-8706.

Wild cochineal has characteristics that offer advantage as a source of carmine and for fine cochineal improvement. To characterize wild cochineal, we initiated a breeding effort raising wild cochineal from the arid zone of the north oh Mexico, using as a host organism Opuntia megacantha Salm dick. The results indicate that the wild specie is Dactylopius opuntiae. The presence of parthenogenesis in females was determined. The duration of ontogenetic stages depends on the sex of the insect. The adult female lasted 38.4 days and 4.2 days for males, the first stage nymphs were similar in duration (18-19.8 days). The complete biological cycle of the females was 77 days, and in the males 43 days. A period of preoviposition of 18.8 days for the females was found, laying eggs during 21 days with an average of 131 insects per female. The sex ratio female: male was 1:1. The reproduction generally was sexual although there were parthenogenetic females. This is the first report of Dactylopius opuntiae as a source of wild cochineal in the arid zone of North, Central and Norwest of Mexico specifically in the Bolson of Mapimí, Durango, Mexico.

Palabras llave : Dactylopius opuntiae; prickly pear; Opuntia spp; carmine dye; survival; reproduction.

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