In tropical landscapes, forest remnants have been reduced to narrow strips of vegetation along rivers and streams surrounded by agricultural land that affects biodiversity, depending on the habitat and landscape characteristics. To assess the effect of riparian forest loss on the diversity of Staphylininae predatory rove beetles, we considered two habitat conditions (river sites with riparian vegetation and sites with heterogeneous pastures) within two micro-basin types (with >70% and <40% forest cover) in a tropical montane cloud forest landscape, Mexico. Beetles were collected using baited pitfall traps during the rainy season of 2014. No differences were found between micro-basin types and, although species richness (0D) was similar between habitat conditions, when the diversity of common (1D) and dominant (2D) species was considered, sites with heterogeneous pastures were almost twice as diverse as those with riparian vegetation. All diversity measurements were greater in sites with heterogeneous pastures of either micro-basin type. Air temperature and canopy cover were the environmental variables that best explained the variation in beetle species composition. The greatest environmental differences related to species composition were detected between habitat conditions and were more evident in sites with heterogeneous pastures and low forest cover in the surroundings. The results suggest that replacing riparian vegetation with heterogeneous pastures, within micro-basins that lost between 30% and 60% of their forest cover, does not significantly reduce the diversity of predatory rove beetle but rather modifies the beetle composition. Effective formulation of management strategies to mitigate the impact of land use modification therefore requires an understanding of the interaction between vegetation remnants and landscape characteristics.

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