Body broadly oval or rotund; round in lateral view; body dark purple, bright red when crushed, covered by thick filamentous ovisac secretion, individuals often indistinguishable in heavy infestations; body not visible through secretion. Occurring on pads of host. Males present.
This species was intercepted 23 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Mexico. We also have examined specimens taken in quarantine from Dominican Republic (Consolea); Haiti (Opuntia); Mexico (Cereus, Opuntia). ScaleNet includes hosts in the genera Cereus, Echocactus, Opuntia and Selenicereus in the Cactaceae from all zoogeographic regions except the Oriental region. The species seems to prefer flat padded species of Opuntia. No species of Dactylopius other than D. coccus Costa, D. confusus, D. opuntiae (Cockerell), and D. tomentosus (Lamark) have been taken at U. S. ports-of-entry.