General Entomology

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EEB 4250 - General Entomology

Fall 2012

Day/Time: Tuesday+Thursday 12:30-3:30
Place: Storrs campus, Torrey Life Sciences Room 313
Credits: 4
Instructor: David Wagner

Life Sciences Rm 471
860-486-2139 and 860-942-1796 (cell)
Office hours: 10 MWF and as available

TA: Brigette Zacharczenko

Life Sciences Rm 473
518-573-3091 (cell)
Office hours: as available (email for appointment)


  • Borror, DJ and RE White, 1970. Peterson Field Guide to Insects: America North of Mexico.
  • Gullan, P. J. and P. S. Cranston. 2010. The Insects: An Outline of Entomology. Fourth Ed. Blackwell Science, Oxford, England.


The lectures provide a broad introduction to insect diversity, phylogeny, structure and function, behavior, ecology, and conservation. The laboratory stresses sight identification and natural history of 120 common insect families. The collection requirement connects the lecture and laboratory by linking lecture topics, and especially insect behavior and ecology, to Connecticut’s extraordinary insect fauna.

Course Procedures and Policies

Academic Integrity:
Plagiarism and cheating are violations of the student conduct code, and may be punished by failure in the course or, in severe cases, dismissal from the University. For more information, see Appendix A of the Student Conduct Code.

If you have a disability for which you may be requesting an accommodation, you should contact a course instructor and the Center for Students with Disabilities (Wilbur Cross Building, Room 201) within the first two weeks of the semester.

Syllabus and Course Materials

Full Syllabus: Pdficon small.gifSyllabus 2012

Course Flickr page: UConnGenEnt2012

  • Please add your photos to an existing set for class trips, or create your own set
  • Add your name or initials to the description of each photo you upload
  • Feel free to comment using the main account or your own flickr account

Lab Facebook page: Lab Facebook page
Lab information
You may work on your collection in the lab outside of class time at these times:

  • Mondays and Fridays after 10am
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays before or after class

Collection Materials

Pdficon small.gifLabel Template
Pdficon small.gifCollection Excel Sheet

Bonus Assignments

Pdficon small.gifLive Insect Project

Collection Guidelines
Pdficon small.gifCollection Grading 2012.doc

Collection Tips
1) Ensure your name is clearly written on all boxes.
2) Please keep your vials in an easy-to-access container.
3) You must hand in a printed spreadsheet (found on the course website) along with your collection. Your name must be on it. The written families should be in the same order as the specimens in your boxes.
4) Don't forget about the ecological labels. Think about them carefully, this is an easy way to make mistakes if you rush.
5) Put the labels in the right order on the pin. Locality label on top, then species label (if needed), then ecological label (if needed), then family label (if it's the first in the row). Labels should be in line with the specimen and take up as little space as possible and still be legible. They should all be facing the same direction.
6) Organization of orders/families within the box is unimportant, as long as it is clear. Try to condense to as few boxes as possible.
7) Remember that the curation guidelines are to ensure that your specimens are "museum ready" - they might be your longest legacy on earth. Think about how beautifully well organized Dave's collection is upstairs, and the main collection next door. Look at your specimens and ask if they are ready to be seamlessly integrated into a museum collection.
8) Don't fret too much about a bad specimen (missing legs, etc) if it's the only one you have. Damaged specimens are still valuable if properly labeled.
9) Moderate trading is encouraged.
10) Some specimens will be taken and added to the main collection (you should take this as a compliment, I had several of my specimens taken). If you have a favorite specimen you are particularly attached to, like something you raised as a pet, leave a note on your spreadsheet.

Date Lecture Quiz Lab Readings
August 28 Course overview Wagner Lab visit
Collections Facility
Intro to collections
Pdficon small.gifG+C Chapter 1
Pdficon small.gifB+W pgs 4-29
August 30 Importance of insects
Introduction to insect diversity
Pdficon small.gifIntroduction
Insect walk
Collecting methods
Pdficon small.gifLab 2
Pdficon small.gifG+C Chapter 2
Pdficon small.gifThe Joy of Formication
Sept 4 Insect body I: external anatomy
Pdficon small.gifExternal anatomy I
Quiz 1: Insect Collecting Overview of Insect Orders
Pinning demonstration
Pdficon small.gifLab 3
Sept 6 Insect body II: external anatomy
Pdficon small.gifExternal anatomy II
External Grasshopper Anatomy
Pdficon small.gifLab 4
Pdficon small.gifG+C Chapter 3
Sept 7-9 Great Mountain Forest Trip
Sept 11 Insect body III: external anatomy
Pdficon small.gifExternal anatomy III
Quiz 2: Insect Orders Internal anatomy dissection
Pdficon small.gifLab 5
Virtual Cockroach
Ant losing wings
Sept 13 Internal anatomy I
Pdficon small.gifInternal anatomy I
Aquatic insects
Aquatic field trip
Pdficon small.gifLab 6
Sept 18 Internal anatomy II
Geologic history I
Pdficon small.gifAnatomy and Geologic History
Quiz 3: Insect Anatomy Non-insect arthropods
Early hexapods: Entognatha, Apterygota, Ephemeroptera, Odonata
Pdficon small.gifLab 7
G+C Chapter 7
G+C Chapter 6
Sept 20 Geologic history II
Higher classification of insects
Pdficon small.gifGeologic history II
Pdficon small.gifInsect phylogeny
Blattodea, Mantodea, Phasmatodea, Orthoptera
Walk to W lot
Pdficon small.gifLab 8
G+C Chapter 8 (section 8.2, the rest is optional)
Sept 25 Development and life histories
Pdficon small.gifDevelopment and life histories
Quiz 4: Primitive insect orders+
Aquatic insects
Dermaptera, Plecoptera, Embioptera, Pscoptera
Pdficon small.gifLab 9
Pdficon small.gifReading part 1
Pdficon small.gifReading part 2
Maternal earwig
Bark lice
Sept 27 Growth and development
Pdficon small.gifGrowth and development
Collection check #1 Phthiraptera, Thysanoptera, Hemiptera (aquatic)
Pdficon small.gifLab 10
Painted lady
Oct 2 MIDTERM 1 Hemiptera II (Heteroptera)
Pdficon small.gifLab 11
Bed bugs
Stink bugs
Oct 4 Nervous system and sensory organs II
Pdficon small.gifNervous System
Hemiptera III (Aucheno- and Sternorrhyncha, Fulgoroidea)
Pdficon small.gifLab 12
C+G chapter 4
Pdficon small.gifInsect Lives, Chapter 8 (Metamorphosis)
Regulatin' genes
Oct 9 Nervous System II
Pdficon small.gifNervous System II
Open lab
Bug jeopardy
Pdficon small.gifBug Jeopardy file
G+C chapter 4
Pdficon small.gifJudson chapter 6
Pdficon small.gifJudson chapter 7
Penis fencing
Oct 11 Nervous System continued
Pdficon small.gifNervous System continued
Quiz 5: Hemimetabola Megaloptera, Neuroptera
Pdficon small.gifLab 14
G+C Chapter 12
Pdficon small.gifEisner, Love Potions
Mantids mating
Oct 16 Behavior
Pdficon small.gifBehavior
Strepsiptera, Coleoptera I
Pdficon small.gifLab 15
Oct 18 Social insects
Pdficon small.gifSocial insects
Coleoptera II
Special Lab Topic: Plant secondary compounds & insect herbivory
Greenhouse tour
Pdficon small.gifLab 16
G+C Chapter 11
OPTIONAL Nowak et al. (2010)
Oct 23 Phytophagous insects
Pdficon small.gifInsects and Plants 1
Coleoptera III
Pdficon small.gifLab 17
Pdficon small.gifFor Love of Insects
Pdficon small.gifInsect Lives
Oct 25 Insects and plants
Herbivory and plant defense
Pdficon small.gifInsects and Plants II
Coleoptera review
Special Lab Topic
Pdficon small.gifHalloween Insects
Oct 30 Hurricane Sandy had other ideas.
Nov 1 Quiz 6: Megaloptera, Neuroptera, Strepsiptera, and Coleoptera Trichoptera, Lepidoptera I&II
Pdficon small.gifLab 19
Nov 6 MIDTERM 2 Guest Lecture - Forensic Entomology
Nov 8 Insect and plants continued
Pdficon small.gifInsects and Plants III
Collection Check #2 Mecoptera, Siphonaptera, Diptera I
Pdficon small.gifLab 21
G+C Chapter 14
Nov 13 Chemical ecology of insects (Scott Smedley) Diptera continued
Pdficon small.gifLab 22
Nov 15 Insect Defenses
Pdficon small.gifInsect Defenses
Bug Banquet
Bug Jeopardy
Pdficon small.gifJanzen reading
G+C Chapter 13
Nov 27 Entomophagous Insects
Pdficon small.gifEntomophagous Insects
Hymenoptera I
Pdficon small.gifLab 24
Nov 29 Medical Entomology
Pdficon small.gifMedical Entomology
Quiz 7: Mecopteroidea Hymenoptera II G+C Chapter 15
Caterpillar Eyespots
Pdficon small.gifThe Ant and the Acacia Tree
Pdficon small.gifWhy Did God Make Flies?
Dec 4 Medical Entomology
Pdficon small.gif Medical Entomology
Insect Ecology and Pest Management
Pdficon small.gifInsect Ecology and Pest Management
Open lab G+C Chapter 16
Dec 6 Insect conservation LAB PRACTICUM Open lab
(must absolutely be done before I come in Saturday morning)