blister beetle

6 ENTRIES FOUND:

blister beetle

noun

Definition of BLISTER BEETLE

:  a beetle (as the Spanish fly) used medicinally dried and powdered to raise blisters on the skin; broadly :  any of a family (Meloidae) of soft-bodied beetles whose blood contains cantharidin

First Known Use of BLISTER BEETLE

1816

blister beetle

noun    (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of BLISTER BEETLE

: any of various beetles (as the Spanish fly) that are used medicinally dried and powdered to raise blisters on the skin; broadly : any of numerous soft-bodied beetles (family Meloidae)

blister beetle

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Blister beetle (Lytta magister).—Photo Research International

Any of approximately 2,000 species of beetles (family Meloidae) that secrete an irritating substance, cantharidin, which is used medically as a topical skin irritant to remove warts. In the past, cantharidin was often used to induce blisters, a common remedy for many ailments, and the dried remains of Spanish fly (Lytta vesicatoria) were a major ingredient in so-called love potions. Adult blister beetles, which are often brightly coloured, range between 0.1 and 0.8 in. (3–20 mm) in length. Blister beetles are both helpful and harmful to humans; the larvae eat grasshopper eggs, but the adults destroy crops.

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