Gullan, P.J., & Cook, L.G. 2001 Are cochineal insects Eriococcids?. Entomologica 33(1999): 91-99.


  • taxonomy
  • Notes: [Special Issue: Proceedings of the ISSIS VIII International Symposium on Scale Insect Studies held at Wye College (U.K.), Aug. 31st - Sept. 6th, 1998.] Scale insects of the genus Dactylopius Costa, which all feed on cacti, are commonly called cochineal insects. Currently there are nine described species placed in their own family, the Dactylopiidae, based on a few unique morphological features. Here we review available biological, morphological and karyotype information on Dactylopius and report on cladistic analyses of morphological data (from first-instar nymphs plus adult females, and adult males separately) and molecular data (from the nuclear gene 18S rDNA and the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase II) from Dactylopius and its potential relatives. We suggest that Dactylopius belongs with the eriococcids and we discuss the nomenclatural implications of this placement.