Spanish fly

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


, gen.


, pl.


(kan'thar-is, kan-thar'i-dis, -dēz),
A dried beetle, Lytta (Cantharis) vesicatoria, used as a counterirritant and vesicant.
Synonym(s): Russian fly, Spanish fly
[L., fr. G. kantharis, a beetle]

Spanish fly

1. A brilliant green blister beetle (Lytta vesicatoria) of central and southern Europe.
2. A toxic preparation of the crushed, dried bodies of this beetle, formerly used as a counter-irritant for skin blisters and as an aphrodisiac. Also called cantharides.

Spanish fly

See cantharis.

Spanish fly

Alternative medicine
(1) Blister beetle.
(2) Cantharis, see there.

Spanish fly

Dried extract of the blister beetle, Lytta vesicatoria . Cantharides. This is a highly irritant and poisonous substance with an unjustified reputation as an APHRODISIAC.

Spanish fly,

n a preparation made from the crushed, dried bodies of the
Cantharis vesicatoria, the blister beetles. Claimed to have aphrodisiac properties, its effects are derived from the irritant effects upon the body's genitourinary tract. Toxic doses of the preparation lead to priapism in men and pelvic congestion with occasional uterine bleeding in women. Formerly used as a counterirritant, it is no longer used (except in homeopathic doses) because of its high toxicity. Also called

Spanish fly

contains cantharides. Called also Cantharis vesicatoria (syn. Lytta vesicatoria).
References in periodicals archive ?
Spanish Fly is an amusing and intelligent tale of conmen in post-depression and prewar America.
Spanish fly was reported to be much more effective than simply inviting her for a pint of bitter and a bag of scratchings.
Other products included Spanish Fly, seven boxes of "Viagel", and 1,500 tablets labelled Horny Goat Weed, All Night Long and Top Gun.
Clearly the patient is still sick, and the big question is whether Spanish Fly will be the potion that rouses us from our torpor.
I got one in a store in 1988, and I've had one ever since, I used to play it with Spanish Fly (his first band), just one or two songs, but I couldn't really play it in all the keys.
Forget the dreary Serie A, the frantic English Premiership and the Bundesliga - and just watch the Spanish fly.
Spanish Fly or cantharides, if taken internally, cause excruciating irritation to the intestine and urinary tract.