Mylabris Beetles

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Date
1942
Authors
Harris W. V.
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Abstract
The drug cantharadin is obtained from beetles of the family Meloidae, the blister beetles. Best known of these is the "Spanish Fly" of the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas (Lyfla vesicaforia), but 'related species are also exploited commercially in China. Cantharadin is present in the blood and accessory glands of the beetle, and is exuded when the insect is disturbed. If this exudate is rubbed on the skin, as for example while knocking off a beetle, blisters are produced. The small black and yellow Cylindrothorax strangulata is mainly responsible for the epidemics of linear blisters on the face and neck, occurring in most localities at certain seasons. Cantharadin is extracted from the dried bodies of the beetles.
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East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, VII, p. 98-98