The cochineal insect is found on the cactus which grows in abundance in the vicinity, and the town is known throughout Ecuador for its manufacture of boots and shoes, and for a cordage made from cabuya, the fibre of the agave plant.
Silkworms have been bred with success in some departments, and the cochineal insect is found wherever the conditions are favourable for the cactus.
The, cochineal insect was once an important commercial product, but the industry has fallen into decay.
The male of the cochineal insect is half the size of the female, and, unlike it, is devoid of nutritive apparatus; it has long white wings, and a body of a deep red colour, terminated by two diverging setae.
The cochineal insect is nurtured on a species of Opuntia (0.