What does the word Cantharis mean?

  • Spanish Fly. See Cantharides.

  • This fly-Order, Coleopterae-originally, perhaps, a native of Italy and Spain, is now found in France, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Siberia, and England. It is, however, rare in the last-named country. It is found in species of Oleaceae-as the ash, privet, and lilac; and of Caprifoliaceae-as the elder and lonicera. It is much employed in medicine, and is the most common vesicatory. Given internally, and even when absorbed from the skin, it affects the urinary organs, exciting strangury. This may be prevented, in cases of blisters, by interposing between the blistering plaster and skin a piece of tissue-paper. Diluents relieve the strangury. Dose, half a grain to one grain. If kept dry, the flies will retain their activity for many years. Their active principle-Can'tharidin, Cantharidi'na-has been separated from them.

  • Seu Lytta vitta'ta, ( which see,) and C. atra'ta, C. margina'ta, and C. cine'rea, of America; C. atoma'ria, of Brazil; C. ru'ficeps, of Sumatra and Java; C. gigas, Lytta caeru'lea, of Guinea and the East Indies; C. viola'cea, Lytta gigas mas, of the East Indies; C. Syr'iaca, Lytta seg'etum, of Arabia; Myla'bris, M. puncta'ta, M. pustula'ta, and M. cicho'rii, of China and the East Indies; Meloe proscarabae'us, and M. maja'lis or True Mayworm-possess similar properties.

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