Nicolas-Joseph Thiéry de Menonville (1739 - 1780)
Nicolas-Joseph Thiéry de Menonville (Saint-Mihiel, France, 18 June 1739 – Port-au-Prince, Saint-Domingue, 1780), avocat at the Parlement of Paris, was a French botanist who volunteered to be sent to Mexico in 1776 to steal the cochineal insect valued for its scarlet dye. In his clandestine bioprospecting piracy, he worked without official papers and would have been ruthlessly treated had he been caught. He succeeded in naturalizing the insect and the prickly pear (Opuntia) "nopal" cactus on which it depended in the French colony of Saint-Domingue.
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