Cantharidin is used medically to remove warts and is collected for this purpose from species of the genera Mylabris and […] Other than that, the blister beetle has four life stages just like other beetles: egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. Mom plunges to death in front of family while taking photo at cliff’s edge in Australia . Specific Species. Blister beetle adults can be controlled with careful hand-picking (do not squash them! There are some 100 genera and 1,500 species in the family, mostly associated with rotting wood as larvae, though adults are quite common on flowers. Eggs – these are laid on soil, under rocks, or on the host plant of the adult. French Chemist Pierre Robiquet discovered this chemical, and its properties, in the early 1700’s. ), or with spinosad-based organic pesticides. Blister beetles have four larval stages and are known as Hypermetamorphic because of it. Cantharidin is a chemical derived from the Blister Beetle. This is where Cantharidin comes in. 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. (4) There are approximately 2,500 known species worldwide. Topical cantharidin is commonly used to treat molluscum contagiosum. Pest beetles can become problematic in even the most well-maintained organic garden. 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. It causes a blister to develop on the bump, which resolves as the blister heals. This insect’s secretion cause blistering in predators, and is used to protect its eggs. Other local names given to Paederus dermatitis include spider-lick, whiplash dermatitis, and Nairobi fly dermatitis. The other species from the Nemognathinae family, having lengthy maxillae, are found in Australia. The beetle, also known as parisopalpus nigronotatus (Boheman), was introduced from Australia in 1931 and has spread across the country north of Nelson. Toxic blister beetles in contaminated hay kill 14 horses, sicken 100 others on Wisconsin ranch. (3) Cantharidin is a keratolytic agent made from the blistering beetle. Generally, cantharidin is applied in a provider’s office and then washed off with soap and water at home. 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. Blister Beetle Life Cycle. They are known as ‘Blister beetles’ because they secrete cantharidin, a poisonous chemical causing blistering of the skin and painful swelling. 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