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Explore Cochineal City  - Dactylopius

Explore Cochineal City - Dactylopius
Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton, Orange County, California, USA
December 28, 2009
That sticky white stuff on prickly pear cactus is your invitation to investigate the intriguing habitat of the cochineal scale insects who established these tiny cities. The cactus feeds the cochineal, which in turn provide nourishment for specialized flies, wasps, and ladybird beetles. No doubt, you’ll also encounter some random visitors, who drop by to further entertain you.
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Cochineal insects

Flies that prey on cochineal

Ladybird beetle predators and their even tinier associates

Invading wasps

Voracious moth larvae

Dubious ants

Fly that feeds on decaying cactus

Casual visitors

Great idea, nicely done!

Glad you liked it
A similar, but less ambitious effort...

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