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July 28, 2008

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Rolf Ziegler

With cochineal you can get all kind of shades of red and purple. The shade of red you get depends on the pH and on additives.

Tim Abbott

Dear Dr Estes; Thank you for your feedback, although not for the manner of its delivery.

Dr. Yvonne Estes

Please get that misleading photo of a beetle out of this article! Cochineal insects are not beetles, not even close. They are Dactylopius coccus. a cottony scale insect that looks more like a mealybug.

So in the interests of stopping the spread of fables, I just had to write to you.

Tim Abbott

Thanks, R.W. Bloomer. I can see how the uniform coats of British officers could be described as yellow/red. Fascinating distinction.

R.W. Bloomer

I don't think cochineal dyes yield scarlet red. I think cochineal dyes yield carmine red; a deeper, bluer red compared to scarlet, a more yellow red.

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