Global invasive species database

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Common name
palmatória (English, Portuguese), palma-miuda (English, Portuguese), wooly joint prickly pear (English, English), English tungy (English, Saint Helena), palma-doce (English, Portuguese), prickly pear (English, Saint Helena), Opuntia (English, Saint Helena), cochenillier (English, French), cochineal cactus (English, Anguilla, Bermuda), French prickle (English, Anguilla), white tungy (English, Saint Helena), cochineal-plant (English, English), cochineal cactus (English, English), nopal chamacuero (English, Spanish), palma (English, Portuguese), raquette espagnole (English, French), cacto-de-cochonilha (English, Portuguese), palma-de-engorda (English, Portuguese), nopal de cochinilla (English, Spanish), cochineal nopal cactus (English, Spanish), nopal nochetzli (English, Aztec), cochenillekaktus (English, Norwegian), nopal de la cochinilla (English, Spanish), warm hand (English, English), velvet opuntia (English, English), cochineal nopal cactus (English, English), prickly pear (English, English), nopalea grande (English, English), nopal cactus (English, English), nopales opuntia (English, English), white tungi (English, Saint Helena)
Synonym
Cactus cochenillifer , L. (basionym)
Nopalea cochenillifera , (L.) Salm-Dyck
Similar species
Opuntia monacantha
Summary
An Opuntia sp. is reported to be growing in important habitats for endemic vascular flora of Ascension Island.
Species Description
Opuntia cochenillifera are shrubs or small trees, 2 to 4 m tall. Trunk (when present) terete. Large joints green, elliptic to narrowly obovate , 8 to 40 × 5 to 7.5 cm, thick, margin entire , base and apex rounded. Areoles circa 2 mm in diameter. Spines usually absent, when present: 1 to 3 per areole, spreading, grayish tan, acicular, 3 to 9 mm; glochids early deciduous. Leaves conic, 3 to 4 mm, early deciduous. Flowers 1.2 to 1.5 cm in diam., erect . Sepaloids with brilliant red or green midrib , largest ones ovate-deltoid, 5 to 12 × 6 to 9 mm, margin entire, apex acute. Petaloids bright red, ovate to obovate, 1.3 to 1.5 × 0.6 to 1 cm, margin entire or undulate, apex rounded or acute. Filaments pink, 3 to 4 cm; anthers pink, circa 1.5 mm. Style pink, 4 to 4.5 cm; stigmas 6 to 8, greenish, circa 3 mm. Fruit red, ellipsoid , 3 to 5 × 2.5 to 3 cm, umbilicus developed but not conspicuous. seeds gray or tannish, thickened discoid , circa 3 mm in diameter (Flora Of China Vol. 13 Page 210, 211, in BayScience Foundation 2009).
Uses
Opuntia cochenillifera is widely cultivated, it produces fruits which are gathered for human consumption (Grant 1883).
Opuntia has been introduced to enrich soil and prevent the evaporation of moisture (Duffey 1964).
Sheep and goats browse on the young sprouts. Leaves are good fodder for pigs (Grant 1883).
Before synthetic dyes were produced O. cochenillifera plants were cultivated for the purpose of supporting populations of Dactylopius coccus. When crushed the bodies of this Mexican scale insect produce a carmine-coloured dye.
Habitat Description
Opuntia cochenillifera are found growing on mountain slopes and low altitudes (BayScience Foundation 2009; Duffey 1964).
Reproduction
The prickly pear is easily propagated and the tiniest bit of leaf will take root almost anywhere (Grant 1883). Flowers bloom from March to May and have a magenta colour (BayScience Foundation 2009).

Principal source:

Compiler: Interim compiled by IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the EU-funded South Atlantic Invasive Species project, coordinated by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
Updates with support from the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme (OTEP) project XOT603, a joint project with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment

Review:

Publication date: 2009-04-02

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2021) Species profile: Opuntia cochenillifera. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1425 on 28-09-2021.

Management Info
Biological: Cochineal (Dactylopius spp.) and Cactoblasts (Cactoblastis spp.) are the two most important biological control agents for prickly pear cacti. The two attack the cactus in a totally different manner. Cochineal species attach to the outside of the plant and sucks the moisture out of the plant. Cactoblasts are black and yellow striped grubs that tunnel into and devour the inside of the plant (North West Weeds 2007). Cactoblastis oviposits by gluing sticks of about 50 to 90 eggs on cactus spines; the gregarious larvae bore into the pads or cladodes, devouring them from the inside (Stiling 2002). Because of its oligophagous feeding habits Cactoblastis has been successful against a whole range of Opuntia species including 11 species of North American origin (Julien and Griffiths 1998, in Stiling 2002).
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Opuntia cochenillifera
NATIVE RANGE
Informations on Opuntia cochenillifera has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Opuntia cochenillifera in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Red List assessed species 0:
Locations
SAINT HELENA
Mechanism
[1] Competition
[1] Interaction with other invasive species
Outcomes
[2] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [1] Reduction in native biodiversity
  • [1] Habitat degradation
Management information
Biological: Cochineal (Dactylopius spp.) and Cactoblasts (Cactoblastis spp.) are the two most important biological control agents for prickly pear cacti. The two attack the cactus in a totally different manner. Cochineal species attach to the outside of the plant and sucks the moisture out of the plant. Cactoblasts are black and yellow striped grubs that tunnel into and devour the inside of the plant (North West Weeds 2007). Cactoblastis oviposits by gluing sticks of about 50 to 90 eggs on cactus spines; the gregarious larvae bore into the pads or cladodes, devouring them from the inside (Stiling 2002). Because of its oligophagous feeding habits Cactoblastis has been successful against a whole range of Opuntia species including 11 species of North American origin (Julien and Griffiths 1998, in Stiling 2002).
Locations
SAINT HELENA
Management Category
Control
Bibliography
16 references found for Opuntia cochenillifera

Management information
Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR). 2008. Plants of Hawaii: Cactaceae > Opuntia cochenillifera
Summary: Images.
Available from: http://www.hear.org/starr/plants/images/species/?q=opuntia+cochenillifera [Accessed 10 December 2008]
St. Helena National Trust., 2007. newsletter no.17 - dec 2007 - The Millennium Forest � An Evolving and Maturing Long Term Project
Summary: Available from: http://www.nationaltrust.org.sh/newsletters/no17/newletter-17-dec07-3.html [Accessed 19 January 2009]
Stiling, P. 2002. Potential non-target effects of a biological control agent, prickly pear moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), in North America, and possible management actions. Biological Invasions 4: 273-281, 2002.
General information
BayScience Foundation. 2009. ZipcodeZoo.com: Opuntia cochenillifera (Wooly Joint Prickly Pear)
Summary: Available from: http://zipcodezoo.com/Plants/O/Opuntia_cochenillifera/ [Accsessed 28 August 2008]
Chac�n, Eduardo and Guido Sabor�o-R., 2003. Lista De Especies De Plantas Introducidas En Costa Rica. Asociaci�n para la Conservaci�n y el Estudio de la Biodiversidad (ACEBIO) [edchacon@gmail.com & gsaborio@gmail.com.].
Duffey, Eric. 1964. The terrestrial ecology of Ascention Island, The Journel of Applied Ecology 1 (2)
Summary: Available from: http://www.seaturtle.org/PDF/Duffey_1964_JAppEcol.pdf [Accessed 25 October 2009]
Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW)., 2007. Opuntia cochenillifera (Cactaceae)
Summary: Available from: http://www.hear.org/gcw/species/opuntia_cochenillifera/ [Accessed 20 August 2008]
Gray, Alan, Tara Pelembe and Stedson Stroud. 2005. The conservation of the endemic vascular flora of Ascension Island and threats from alien species, Oryx 39 (4)
Summary: Available from: http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FORX%2FORX39_04%2FS0030605305001092a.pdf&code=a496b9c9fa1ba28f5d1724b76fbc7feb [Accessed 10 December 2008]
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2008. Online Database Opuntia cochenillifera (L.) P. Mill.
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=19699 [Accessed 25 October 2008]
Liogier, H.A. 2000. Flora of Puerto Rico and Adjacent Islands. A Systematic Synopsis. (2nd Edition). Universidad de Puerto Rico.
Staples, George W., Derral Herbst & Clyde T. Imada, 2000. Survey of Invasive or Potentially Invasive Cultivated Plants in Hawaii. A Special Publication of the Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 1999. Honolulu, Hawaii.
TROPICOS - Flora of China Checklist - 15 Jan 2009 Opuntia cochenillifera (L.) Mill.
Summary: Available from:http://mobot.mobot.org/cgi-bin/search_pick?FOCNAME=Opuntia+cochenillifera [Accessed 10 December 2008]
Contact
The following 0 contacts offer information an advice on Opuntia cochenillifera
Opuntia cochenillifera
palmatória, palma-miuda, wooly joint prickly pear, English tungy, palma-doce, prickly pear, Opuntia, cochenillier, cochineal cactus, French prickle, white tungy, cochineal-plant, cochineal cactus, nopal chamacuero, palma, raquette espagnole, cacto-de-cochonilha, palma-de-engorda, nopal de cochinilla , cochineal nopal cactus , nopal nochetzli, cochenillekaktus, nopal de la cochinilla, warm hand, velvet opuntia, cochineal nopal cactus , prickly pear, nopalea grande, nopal cactus, nopales opuntia, white tungi
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Recommended citation
(2021). Opuntia cochenillifera. IUCN Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT).