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Cantharidin, a potent vesicant and antifeedant agent, is produced by two families of beetles, Meloidae and Oedemeridae (Coleoptera). In this study, the cantharidin content of oedemerid beetles of central Iran was investigated using the GC-MS method. Cantharidin in both sexes of Oedemera podagrariae ventralis Meïneïtrieãs (Oedemeridae) was found in an average of 3.89 µg/beetle in males and 21.68 µg/beetle in females, which are amounts sufficient to irritate human skin. The average of cantharidin in virgin and coupled beetles was 1.35 and 1.62 (µg cantharidin/mg of beetle) respectively. Females had five to six times more cantharidin in their bodies than males, but there was no significant difference between the amount of cantharidin in virgin and coupled females. The results of this study revealed the production of cantharidin in both sexes of beetle.
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