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Hypopta agavis

Hypopta agavis, the larvae of which are known in Spanish as chilocuil, chinicuil, or tecol, is a moth native to North America. Its larvae feed on the succulent leaves of the maguey, although they are not considered a plague, as they have been traditionally used as food in Mexican cuisine. The red-colored caterpillars are also known as gusanos rojos, giving its name to a popular brand of mezcal; they are one of the two kinds of "worms" placed in bottles of mezcal, giving a unique color and flavor to the drink. The other, less appreciated ones, are the larvae of the agave snout weevil, Scyphophorus acupunctatus.

Dish of chinicuiles (roasted larvae of Hypopta agavis) in a market in Tula, Hidalgo, México

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