So yesterday’s question about how exactly cantharidin is extracted from beetles has returned what I’m pretty sure is an answer. Looks like extraction by crushing is the usual route.

Meaning, dead beetles are crushed and the cantharidin (the, ahem, copulatory gift) is extracted from their husks with various agents.

Sadly this means there are probably no beetle ranches, where said beetles live a life of ease while pheromones are piped in, boom-chicka-wow-wow music is playing, and workers in white lab coats collect the secretions.

I can now take this preponderance of evidence to the person who asked *ME* the question, and feel Useful.

But I had such good time imagining beetle ranches. Alas.

Thank you to everyone who went digging with keywords and found scholarly papers. The internet is a magical place, full of people willing to help.

And that, as Squirrelly Dan says, is what I appreciates about you all.

(Still wish I could have found a video about the process, a la Mr Rogers’s “how crayons are made.” But I will struggle on.)

Look, if I am your friend and you have a weird, outlandish, interesting question, I WILL NOT REST until I have FOUND THE ANSWER.

Because friendship is fuckin’ magic.

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