||May RM. How Many Species Are There on Earth? Science. 1988 Sep 16 241(4872):1441-1449PubMed ID17790039
||T.L. Erwin and J.C. Scott, Coleopt. Bull. 34, 305(1980) T.L. Erwin, ibid, 36, 74 (1982) Bull. Entomol. Soc. Am. 29, 14 (1983)
||Using an insecticidal fog to "knock down" the canopy insects, Erwin found that most tropical arthropod species appear to live in the tree tops.
||Erwin found more than 1100 species of such beetles, distributed among the categories of herbivore, predator, fungivore, and scavenger as shown in Table 4. To use this information as a basis for estimating the total number of insect species in the tropics, one needs to know what fraction of the fauna are specific to the particular tree species or genus under study unfortunately, there are essentially no data bearing on this point. Erwin estimated 20% of the herbivorous beetles to be specific to Luehea (in the sense that they must use this tree species in some way for successful reproduction) (Table 4) the overall answer is more sensitive to this guess than to the corresponding figures of 5%, 10%. and 5% for predator, fungivore, and scavenger beetles, respectively. In this way, one arrives at the estimate of around 160 species of canopy beetles specific to a typical tropical tree.