blister beetle noun
: 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
blister beetle noun (Medical Dictionary)
: 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)
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.
Blister beetle (Lytta magister).—Photo Research International
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