The Lac Insect

Sunday, December 26, 2004

The other insect that Bruce had in the greenhouse to show me was the lac insect, which produces the waxy threads that these are hiding inside of. The bodies can also be processed to produce a red die that can be used in things like lipstick. They are most famous for producing lac, which can be used for making lacquer or for the coverings of pharmaceutical capsules, or many other uses. I don't know how interesting the rest of you find this, but it was very high on the list of things I wanted to see in Yunnan. I thought I would have to go farther south to see them, but it turns out that in the area around Simao, where they are grown commercially, the season is in April, so the best place to see them in August was in this greenhouse in Kunming.

Posted by Brian at 9:02 PM  


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