Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 741–747 | Cite as

Identification of cantharidin in false blister beetles (Coleoptera, Oedemeridae) from florida

  • James E. Carrel
  • James P. Doom
  • John P. McCormick


Cantharidin, a potent vesicant and antifeedant, is identified for the first time in two oedemerid beetles from the western hemisphere. Amounts of the substance per beetle were found to range from 2 to 7 μg inHeliocis repanda and from 15 to 35 μg inOxycopis thoracica. Females had two to three times more cantharidin than males of the same species. Cantharidin loads of these beetles are sufficient to irritate human skin.

Key words

Cantharidin defense chemical vesicant antifeedant Heliocis repanda Oxycopis thoracica Coleoptera Oedemeridae sexual dimorphism 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • James E. Carrel
    • 1
  • James P. Doom
    • 2
  • John P. McCormick
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbia
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of MissouriColumbia

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