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Ararat kermes

Porphyrophora hameli Brand
Colors Obtained
Vermilion, Purple, Red, Pink
Dye Ingredients
Carminic acid, Kermesic acid, Flavokermesic acid
This insect is native to the area of Mount Ararat inTurkish eastern Anatolia and in Armenia . This insect is a parasite on the roots of two varieties of grass: Phragmatis australis and Aeleuropus littoralis. They grow in the salt marshes on both sides of the river Aras (Araxas), which flows past the north side of Mount Ararat and forms the border between Turkey and Armenia . At a certain time in the fall, the female insects, which can be up to a centimeter long, come up to the surface. The traveller Parrot (Parrot 1834) writes in his book Trip to Ararat that the sheep that grazed in the salt marshes on the slopes of Ararat get red feet. The insects, before sunrise, crawl around on the surface of the ground and let themselves be easily gathered.   An hour later, the red animals all disappear underground again. Their biology is very complicated.