General Entomology

From EEBedia
Revision as of 21:10, 12 September 2014 by Brigette Zacharczenko (Talk | contribs) (Syllabus and Course Materials)

Jump to: navigation, search



EEB 4250 - General Entomology

Fall 2014

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

Item Points
Midterms (90 pts each) 180 pts
Final 175 pts
Collection 300 pts
7 lab quizzes (25 pts each), live insect project (25 pts), ecology exercise (25 pts), attendance and participation (25 pts) 250 pts
Lab practicum 75 pts
Current events (2 articles) 20 pts
Total 1000 pts

Collection Materials

Pdficon small.gifCollection Guidelines
Pdficon small.gifLabel Template
Pdficon small.gifCollection Excel Sheet
Pdficon small.gifEcological Labels

Lab Facebook page: Lab Facebook page

Other Assignments

Pdficon small.gifLive Insect Project

Date Lecture Quiz Lab Readings
August 26 Course overview Wagner Lab visit
Collections Facility
Intro to collections
Pdficon small.gifG+C Chapter 1
Pdficon small.gifB+W pgs 4-29
August 28 Importance of insects
Introduction to insect diversity
Pdficon small.gif Importance of insects
Insect walk
Collecting methods
Pdficon small.gifCollecting and pinning
How to pin and spread a moth
Pdficon small.gifG+C Chapter 2
Pdficon small.gifThe Joy of Formication
Pdficon small.gifEconomic Value of Insects
Sept 2 Insect adaptations
Pdficon small.gifInsect adaptations
Quiz 1: Insect Collecting Overview of Insect Orders
Pinning demonstration
Pdficon small.gifInsect Orders
Pdficon small.gifInsect Orders handout
Finish reading G+C chapter 2
Pdficon small.gifSo Great the Excitement Alfred Russel Wallace
Sept 4 Insect body I: external anatomy
Pdficon small.gifExternal Anatomy I
External Grasshopper Anatomy
Pdficon small.gifMorphology and Illustration
Pdficon small.gifExternal Anatomy handout
Pdficon small.gifFor Love of Insects
Sept 5-7 Great Mountain Forest Trip
Sept 9 External Anatomy
Pdficon small.gifExternal Anatomy II
Quiz 2: Insect Orders Internal anatomy dissection
Pdficon small.gifInternal anatomy
Pdficon small.gifInternal anatomy handout
G+C Chapter 3
Virtual Cockroach
Ant losing wings
Sept 11 External Anatomy
Pdficon small.gifExternal Anatomy III
Aquatic insects
Aquatic field trip
Pdficon small.gifAquatic insects
Review chapters 2 and 3
Pdficon small.gifSpider Love
Sept 16 Internal anatomy II
Geologic history I
Quiz 3: Insect Anatomy Non-insect arthropods
Early hexapods: Entognatha, Apterygota, Ephemeroptera, Odonata
Sept 18 Geologic history II
Higher classification of insects
Blattodea, Mantodea, Phasmatodea, Orthoptera
Walk to W lot
Sept 23 Development and life histories Quiz 4: Primitive insect orders+
Aquatic insects
Dermaptera, Plecoptera, Embioptera, Pscodea
Sept 25 Growth and development Collection check #1 Phthiraptera, Thysanoptera, Hemiptera (aquatic)
Sept 29 MIDTERM 1 Hemiptera II (Heteroptera)
Oct 2 Nervous system and sensory organs II
Hemiptera III (Aucheno- and Sternorrhyncha, Fulgoroidea)
Oct 7 Insect behavior Bug jeopardy
Aquatic insect ecology field trip
Oct 9 Social insects Quiz 5: Hemimetabola Megaloptera, Neuroptera
Oct 14 Social insects, phytophagous insects Strepsiptera, Coleoptera I
Oct 16 Phytophagous insects, insects and plants Coleoptera II
Special Lab Topic: Plant secondary compounds & insect herbivory
Greenhouse tour
Oct 21 Acoustical insects (Dr. Charles Henry) Coleoptera III
Oct 23 Forensic entomology (Dr. William Krinsky) Coleoptera review
Bug jeopardy
Oct 28 Phytophagous insects, defenses Trichoptera, Lepidoptera I
Special lab topic: ghost moths and other scary insects
Oct 30 MIDTERM 2 Quiz 6: Megaloptera, Neuroptera, Strepsiptera, and Coleoptera Trichoptera, Lepidoptera II
Special lab topic: silk
Nov 4 Entomophagous insects Mecoptera, Siphonaptera, Diptera I
Nov 6 Entomophagous insects continued Collection Check #2 Diptera II
Nov 11 Medical and veterinary entomology Diptera III
Open lab
Nov 13 Medical and veterinary entomology Hymenoptera I
Nov 18 Chemical ecology of insects (Scott Smedley) Open lab
Nov 20 Insect ecology Quiz 7: Mecopteroidea Hymenoptera II
Dec 2 Pest management and biological control Live Insect Project due Open lab
Dec 4 Insect conservation LAB PRACTICUM Open lab

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.