Cantharidin is an odorless, colorless fatty substance of the terpenoid class, which is secreted by many species of blister beetles. Blister beetle adults can be controlled with careful hand-picking (do not squash them! French Chemist Pierre Robiquet discovered this chemical, and its properties, in the early 1700’s. Toxic blister beetles in contaminated hay kill 14 horses, sicken 100 others on Wisconsin ranch. They are known as ‘Blister beetles’ because they secrete cantharidin, a poisonous chemical causing blistering of the skin and painful swelling. The blisters caused by exposure to blister beetles are usually not very serious and blisters will completely clear up in less than a week to 10 days. There are approximately 2,500 known species worldwide. Eggs – these are laid on soil, under rocks, or on the host plant of the adult. Paederus dermatitis, medically known as dermatitis linearis, is a skin irritation resulting from contact with the hemolymph of certain rove beetles, a group that belongs to the insect order Coleoptera and the genus Paederus. Pest beetles can become problematic in even the most well-maintained organic garden. Mom plunges to death in front of family while taking photo at cliff’s edge in Australia . (3) Cantharidin is a keratolytic agent made from the blistering beetle. ), or with spinosad-based organic pesticides. Regular trips between crop rows to scout for them enables effective management and keeps their numbers at a tolerable level. This insect’s secretion cause blistering in predators, and is used to protect its eggs. Other than that, the blister beetle has four life stages just like other beetles: egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. Topical cantharidin is commonly used to treat molluscum contagiosum. It is a burn agent or a poison in large doses, but preparations containing it were historically used as aphrodisiacs (Spanish fly).In its natural form, cantharidin is secreted by the male blister beetle and given to the female as a copulatory gift during mating. Cantharidin is a chemical derived from the Blister Beetle. Blister Beetle Life Cycle. Other local names given to Paederus dermatitis include spider-lick, whiplash dermatitis, and Nairobi fly dermatitis. (4) Specific Species. Cantharidin is used medically to remove warts and is collected for this purpose from species of the genera Mylabris and […] Blister beetles have four larval stages and are known as Hypermetamorphic because of it. Generally, cantharidin is applied in a provider’s office and then washed off with soap and water at home. The family Oedemeridae is a cosmopolitan group of beetles commonly known as false blister beetles, though some recent authors have coined the name pollen-feeding beetles. 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