Patterns of trap response in the Central American spiny rat (Proechimys semispinosus), a frugivorous forest rodent, were examined in relation to age, sex, density and resource abundance. Populations on four small islands (designated numbers 4, 8, 14, and 52) in Gatun Lake (central Panama) were sampled by live-trapping for four nights every month for four years. Trappability was calculated as the proportion of all individuals known to be alive that were actually captured. Mean body mass at first capture was within the range of subadult body masses and differed among islands but not between sexes. Trappabilities summed over the entire study were generally low and differed among islands and age classes (juveniles, subadults and adults) and between sexes. In general, adults were more trappable than juveniles and subadults, and females (particularly adults) were more trappable than males. Trappability and the number of captures per individual varied seasonally and were generally greatest during December and January. Monthly estimates of these two variables were examined for autocorrelation, and the order of the autoregressive error model was determined separately for each island population. The arcsine of trappability and the number of captures per individual were regressed on log10 densities of spiny rats and of fruiting trees and lianas after controlling for autocorrelation. Both trappability indices were negatively related to the density of fruiting trees and lianas on islands 8 and 14, indicating that spiny rats may be seasonally food-stressed. The number of captures per individual was related positively to the density of spiny rats on island 52 and negatively on island 8. Results indicate that spiny rat populations must be sampled with greater intensity and duration than temperate forest rodents.