Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Yet MORE on chochineal

This comment, attached to another Pratie Place Post, references the extensive "crushed bug" discussions in my Alborada recaps and also the Wall Street Journal article on cochineal - which is the same as cochinilla.

I assume that you are a stickler for accuracy. Therefore, I must point out a mistake.

The cochineal insect is NOT a beetle; it is a scale insect. It is not even remotely related to beetles except that both are insects. Calling it a beetle is like calling a gorilla a porpoise. It can properly be called a bug, since it belongs to the order Hemiptera the members of which have the common name "bugs."

By the way, it is the females and eggs which are used to make dye. The females are wingless and have six legs. It would seem the Biblical injuction would not apply here.

M.C. Thomas, Ph.D.
Florida State Collection of Arthropods
Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

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At 9:57 AM, Blogger coturnix said...

Can you post a picture of the bug?


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