Despite the medical importance of Paederus beetles, no studies have studied the influence of the abiotic factors on the flight activity and nighttime dispersal of these insects in Brazil. Therefore, the influence of both climatic factors and moon phase on black-light catches of Paederus rove beetles was investigated. Paederus beetles were attracted to a black light source hourly from 1800 to 0600 hours, and data on weather conditions as well as moon phase data were taken for every sampling date. Overall, 543 individuals of Paederus beetles belonging to four species were captured: P. protensus, P. columbinus, P. brasiliensis, and P. mutans. Paederus beetles were mostly active in the warmest parts of the studied nights. Variations in nighttime temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, cloud cover, and moon phases appear not to affect Paederus flight. The diurnal temperature was observed to affect the night hourly dispersal of Paederus rove beetles as well as their distribution pattern during the entire period of study. The true environmental condition responsible for Paederus beetles seasonal pattern and daily night dispersal in northeastern Brazil were the annual moisture and drought cycles and the diurnal maximum temperatures, respectively. Significant trap catches were observed in the earliest hours after sunset (1800–2100), and people must be aware of this fact, as it can notably increase the risk of acquiring linearis dermatitis from the contact with large numbers of active Paederus.
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Vol. 44 • No. 3