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A Review on the Cochineal Species in Mexico, Hosts and Natural Enemies
M.L. Portillo and A.L. Vigueras Departamento de Botánica y Zoología Universidad de Guadalajara Zapopan, Jal. Mexico Keywords: Dactylopius, Opuntia, natural enemies Abstract This paper reviews the status of the diversity of the Dactylopiidae family, its hosts and predators in Mexico. Six dactylopiids or carmine cochineals are cited to occur in Mexico: Dactylopius bassi, D. ceylonicus, D. coccus, D. confusus, D. opuntiae and D. tomentosus. However, the diversity of Mexican dactylopiids may be higher as more regions and hosts are surveyed, since more than 114 Opuntia species occur in Mexico. Approximately 30 Opuntia species are known as hosts and four insect orders are
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The diversity of Dactylopius mentioned for Mexico is restricted to six out of ten species known worldwide (Table 2). Worldwide, 77 species of Opuntia (Platyopuntia and Cylindropuntia) are known as hosts of dactylopiids (Portillo, 1995). A review supported with new collected material may result in a larger number of host plants, even cacti species from other genus (MacGregor, 1976; De Haro and Claps, 1995), and probably new Dactylopius species or at least a wider distribution. However, current taxonomic trends in the Cactaceae family (including O. ficus-indica; main host of D. coccus) are now merging more species such as O. amyclaea and O. megacantha, among others (Kiesling, 1998, 1999). It is then feasible that all Opuntia species recorded for Mexico may host dactylopiids. It is remarkable that every host of D. coccus is native to North America, even those used for the rearing of this insect in South America and other regions of the world (Portillo and Arreola, 1994; Kiesling, 1998; 1999; Portillo, 2005). New contributions to the taxonomy of Mexican dactylopiids confirm that D. ceylonicus considered native to South America (Rodríguez et al., 2001), is also present in North America. Additionally, new host plants have been recorded for other

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