• Species abundance;
  • body length;
  • beetles;
  • Borneo;
  • tree canopy;
  • rain forest;
  • insecticide fogging


  • 1
    The relationships between number of species, abundance per species, and body length are examined for 859 species of beetles in samples of arthropods collected from ten Bornean lowland forest trees by insecticide fogging. Similar relationships are examined for different feeding guilds of these beetles, and for those beetles from different species of trees.
  • 2
    The data are used to construct four interrelated graphs, namely species: abundance, species: body length, population abundance: body length and total number of individuals: body length distributions.
  • 3
    In contrast to a number of previous studies, no consistent linear relationship between population density and body length was found for the Bornean beetles and it is suggested that, as in birds, the added dispersal ability of flight reduces critical population densities necessary for persistence in small species. Previous relationships between body weight and population abundance may also be artefacts of the way in which data were gathered.
  • 4
    Despite large samples, we failed to locate the mode in plots of the number of species in each abundance category (species: abundance distribution).
  • 5
    Species: body length and total number of individuals: body length plots were similar to those found in previous studies, although using data for Coleoptera alone may have produced a steeper decline in the total number of individuals as body size increases than is apparent in samples of all arthropods.
  • 6
    We present the first three-dimensional graph relating numbers of species, body lengths and population abundances. The surface of this three-dimensional relationship is relatively simple.