Aphrodisiac Foods: The Spanish Fly Beetle

spanish fly beetle sitting and exploring white flower

The Spanish fly is one of the most unique and interesting creatures in nature, both in its appearance and longstanding effects. But what is its track record and purpose in accordance with aphrodisiacs?

For starters, its name alone is misleading, since in actuality Spanish flies are a beetle that sports a distinguishable emerald green color. Identified in the blister or meloid beetle family under the name Lytta vesicatoria, this bug is a very important one in the classes of nature and impact on aphrodisiacs.

Though beetles are typically difficult to identify because their species count is currently in the thousands, the Spanish fly almost looks neon, and its behavior is very well documented.

Where Does The Spanish Fly Originate And What Do They Do?

Found predominantly throughout Europe and Central Asia, Spanish flies are small, usually reaching no longer than 20mm. They feed on ash and honey suckle, but their real significance lies in their defense mechanism. Spanish flies are extremely toxic due to a substance they secrete known as cantharidin. To the touch, a human can develop immediate skin irritation at minimum because of its deadly agents.

In nature, however, the cantharidin they produce is more than just a solution to ward off predators. It is also used to attract mates, with females more likely to procreate with males when it is dispersed. Cantharidin is known as a gift to the opposite sex, sort of an offering to generate interest. The female accepts the solution and lays her eggs after their relationship has been consummated. Since only male Spanish flies can create cantharidin, it is highly coveted and a measure with which to distinguish mature adults from the rest.

Why Is It Known As An Aphrodisiac?

Aphrodisiacs have been around in a multitude of ways for centuries, but the history of them gaining the name of something beyond just a love potion really originated with the Spanish fly. The insect is not the only bug able to secrete cantharidin, but it is the most popular species to do so. Because the toxic agent is so attractive to females, it began to get the connotation to sexuality in the scientific community.

This was further bolstered by extensive tests conducted on the solution itself. Cantharidin is a libido booster, which is the most potent effect a working aphrodisiac can provide. In addition, it induces sexual urges, promotes fertility, and limits erectile dysfunction.  This, of course, was a hugely rewarding breakthrough, but one that was altogether misleading. Since cantharidin is harmful, it actually became banned in Morocco roughly 30 years ago because it was being incorporated into spices.


It is no coincidence that Spanish flies are known as blister beetles, since that is quite literally what will happen to your skin if exposed to cantharidin. It is so poisonous that candy that had cantharidin in them caused the deaths of numerous people in Southeast Asia. In the beetles themselves, it is released from the joints. To the naked eye the substance has a milk-like hue that appears harmless, but the exact opposite is the case.

Since cantharidin is so efficient at scaring off foes, it is logical for the female Spanish fly to crave its effects, since they can cover their offspring with it. This simultaneously makes the male attractive, while at the same time allowing the female to follow their motherly instincts and protect their eggs.

Cantharidin swells most tissue it comes into contact with, which is why erections are at a premium when it is around.  It causes inflammation and a throbbing sensation that feels like a bite that stings. In women it has damaged their urethra to the point that a hospital room visit has been necessary.

Using In Culinary Dishes

In Asia and North Africa, the sickness that came following the digestion of cantharidin wasn’t seen until it started being used with regularity in culinary dishes. Spices, soups, and particularly jams added it as an ingredient to improve taste and provoke sexual thoughts.

Is It True Or False That Spanish Flies Are An Aphrodisiac?

There is a lot of misinformation out there on what a Spanish fly is, and what it isn’t. Consumers looking for an edge in spicing up their sex life are frequently confused to hear that they are toxic, when numerous ‘Spanish Fly’ concoctions are available for consumption on the market. The truth of it all lies somewhere in the middle. Real, raw cantharidin from Spanish flies should never be ingested. Though extremely vital to libido stimulation in the wild, it is not something that can be brought into the bedroom to enhance your next session of intimacy.

There are, however, ways to get around this. Certain aphrodisiacs provided to take the place of Viagra and other similar options can include a Spanish fly alternative that incorporates some nutrients from cantharidin, without the blistering toxic elements.

Any time a supplement advertises itself as a Spanish fly aphrodisiac, in reality it is one that either mimics the real insect’s effect, or merely adds its non-harmful components in moderation. This is not to say that it cannot be effective, as the right Spanish fly substance can prove successful.

What Can Do For You And Your Partner?

Obviously a Spanish fly supplement devoid of all dangerous chemicals will not replicate the exact impact it has in the wild, but even those filled with their ingredients can be strong.

Spanish fly liquids and pills can maximize stimulation and increase blood flow. The speed at which blood moves throughout the body is vital to intercourse because it not only makes a person flush, but is integral to both becoming aroused, and staying that way. Additionally, Spanish fly serves as an aphrodisiac because it spikes urges and desires to mate and have sex. This is why it is commonly tried by those who experience erectile dysfunction.

Bringing elements of the Spanish fly into your love life can be a life altering choice because of its amazing power to induce sexuality, and in females, fertility.  Obviously not everyone will be ‘taken’ with its charm, but several case studies are available to the masses which accurately recorded how worthwhile Spanish fly solutions have been for their intimacy.

How Can You Use It To Your Advantage?

Avoiding genuinely poisonous cantharidin should not dampen your spirits as it relates to encouraging sexual activity.  A Spanish fly solution is most prudent to use during foreplay, and even more so, over time. Almost every aphrodisiac is more competent the longer it has built up in a person’s system. Spanish fly can be blended with other aphrodisiacs as well, like fruits and various other seductive foods. As long as it is respected and used responsibly, it can bring casual encounters into a new stratosphere of passion and pleasure.

The Spanish fly beetle is a telling and informative insect in nature for a variety of reasons. To begin with, its role in mating and attraction is unparalleled, which is why it birthed a brand new movement towards aphrodisiacs. The thinking behind it is that if beckoning a partner in nature can be successful, should it not be the same in humans? Science has proven this as fact, but it is nevertheless intriguing that ingredients in cantharidin can provide the same animal-like urges for ourselves.

Spanish flies are also pertinent in serving as a cautionary tale in what to expect and not expect with aphrodisiacs. Love drugs, as they are referred, are very common, with varying degrees of success. The Spanish fly serves as a reminder that some agents can be harmful, no matter how well a libido has been boosted.

Each person that tries a this kind of supplement will form their own opinions, but even skeptics can concede that the insect’s appeal is interesting and deserves further research. Aphrodisiacs are very real and all around us, typically in the form of food and drink. To incorporate components of cantharidin and Spanish fly mating habits are just the tip of the iceberg.

It represents an exciting and forward-thinking step towards developing additional aphrodisiacs in the future that will not only increase interest in sex, but hopefully reduce the stress, anxiety and even pain some feel during intercourse. Even though the Spanish fly has been used in some form for hundreds of years, its importance is a newer development, and one that should be coddled and enjoyed.

The last words for Spanish Fly…

The Spanish fly is a compelling, intricate part of the wild, and a misunderstood beetle to boot. They provide an up close examination on what aphrodisiacs are, and how they are valuable. Moreover, they showcase the method with which we are able to bring some of the instincts from nature into our own lives in a safe and gratifying manner.

It’s fair to say that numerous companies around the world are creating so-called aphrodisiacs and use the spanish fly term as the brand name for their products. The effectiveness of these products is not always based on facts, but some of them definitely gained a lot of popularity and customers in the past years. One of the most popular is Spanish Fly Pro which is the most searched and praised product in this category.