Staphylinidae Rove Beetles

Latrodectusspider venom, and the most complex nonpro-teinaceous insect defensive secretion known. The beetles, which are mostly 7—13 mm long, are found in North, Central, and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australasia. Unlike most rove beetles, which are dull-colored, many Paederus species have an orange pronotum and orange basal segments of the abdomen, which contrast sharply with the often blue or green metallic elytra and brown or black coloration of the rest of the body. This color pattern may be a form of warning (aposematic) coloration, but a defensive function for pederin has not been demonstrated.

At least 20 of the more than 600 described species of Paederus have been associated with dermatitis (Table III). Skin reactions to the beetles, named Ch'ing yao clfung, were described in China as early as AD 739. Most cases of dermatitis have involved tropical species, including Paederusfuscipes (widespread from the British

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