The stability of noah temperate Aphodius assemblages was analysed at four spatial scales: geographical, regional, local and between-field and three temporal scales: inter-annual, seasonal and between-day. Greatest variability in assemblage composition occurred at the geographical scale. The similar level of variability at the regional, local and between-held spatial scales and the inter-annual temporal scale, inferred some degree of spatio-temporal stability at these scales. DCA analyses indicated that assemblage composition was as variable at the smaller between-held scale as at the regional scale. The marked seasonal variability in assemblage structure over the year exceeded variability from one year to the next. At the daily scale, species abundances within a field displayed high variability, but there was relatively Little variability in assemblage structure. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.