Cantharidin (CTD), a component of natural mylabris (Mylabris phalerata Pallas) was reported to have high cytotoxicity in many human cancer cell lines. However, it was not reported to affect human melanoma A375.S2 cells. In the present study, we found that CTD induced cell morphological changes and decreased the percentage of viable cells and induced G2/M phase arrest and induction of apoptosis in A375.S2 cells. Results also showed that CTD induced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Ca2+ and decreased mitochondria membrane potential and lead to the release of cytochrome c, AIF and Endo G. Further investigation revealed that CTD induced A375.S2 cells with an increase of caspase activation and caspase-dependent apoptotic proteins to trigger correlated pathway mechanisms according to western blotting results. Western blotting was used for examining the changes of G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis-associated protein expression and confocal laser microscopy was used to examine the translocation apoptosis-associated protein. Results showed that CTD increased the protein expression of caspase-3, -8 and -9, cytochrome c, Bax, Bid, Endo G and AIF but inhibited the levels of Bcl-2 and Bcl-x. CTD induced ER stress-associated protein expression such as GRP78, IRE1β, ATF6α and caspase-12. Based on those observations, we suggest that CTD may have potential as a novel anti-cancer agent for the treatment of skin cancer.