To discuss the challenge of monitoring multi-species responses of tropical arthropods to disturbance, we considered a large dataset (4 × 105 individuals; 1,682 morphospecies representing 22 focal taxa) based on the work of parataxonomists to examine the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on arthropods at Gamba, Gabon. Replication included three sites in each of four different stages of forest succession and land use after logging, surveyed during a whole year with four sampling methods: pitfall, Malaise, flight-interception and yellow pan traps. We compared the suitability of each sampling method for biological monitoring and evaluated statistically their reliability for 118 arthropod families. Our results suggest that a range of sampling methods yields more diverse material than any single method operated with high replication. Multivariate analyses indicated that morphospecies composition in trap catches was more strongly influenced by habitat type than by sampling methods. This implies that for multi-species monitoring, differences in trap efficiency between habitats may be neglected, as far as habitat types remain well contrasted. We conclude that for the purpose of monitoring large arthropod assemblages in the long-term, a protocol based on operating a set of different and non-disruptive traps appears superior in design than summing a series of taxa-specific protocols.