The Opuntia cochineal scale or false carmine cochineal scale, Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell) (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae), is spreading rapidly in many countries, especially in the Mediterranean basin, where it has become a serious pest of prickly pear crops, Opuntia ficus‐indica (L.) Miller (Cactaceae). This crop is an important food resource both for humans and livestock. The cochineal was originally used as a biological agent to control cactaceous weeds in many countries where Opuntiaceae had been…
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