EEB 4250 - General Entomology
Day/Time: Tuesday+Thursday Lecture 12:30-1:20 Lab 1:30 3:30
Place: Storrs campus, Torrey Life Sciences Room 313
Instructor: David Wagner
- Torrey Life Sciences Rm 471
- 860-486-2139 and 860-942-1796 (cell)
- Office hours: 10 MWF and as available
TA: Kevin Keegan
- Torrey Life Sciences Rm 461
- 617-272-5054 (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
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
|Midterms (100 pts each)||200 pts|
|7 lab quizzes (25 pts each, lowest replaced by Live Insect Project grade), attendance (25 pts) and participation (25 pts)||225 pts|
|Lab practicum||80 pts|
|Current events/Speed talks (2 articles)||20 pts|
Syllabus and Grading Rubric
Collection Grading Rubric
- Label Template
- Collection Excel Sheet
- Collection Check #1
- Odonate Label Template
- Collection Check #2
(The live insect project will take the place of your lowest quiz grade)
|August 27||Course overview|| Wagner Lab visit
Intro to collections
| G+C Chapter 1|
B+W pgs 4-29
|August 29|| Importance of Insects
| Collecting Practice
Intro to iNaturalist
| G+C Chapter 2|
The Joy of Formication
Economic Value of Insects
|September 3||The Diversity of Insects||Quiz 1|| Quiz 1: Borror and White pages 4-29
The Insect Orders Pt.1
Most recent Hexapoda phylogeny from Misof et al. (2014) (full paper available here)
(You will not be quizzed or tested on the Misof et al. (2014) paper)
|September 5||External Anatomy I
External Anatomy I slides
|The Insect Orders Pt.2|| Continue G+C Ch. 2
So Great the Excitement - Alfred Russell Wallace
Bombardier Beetles - Thomas Eisner
|September 10|| External Anatomy II
|Quiz 2 - The Insect Orders||Pinning Practice|
|September 12|| External Anatomy III
|External Anatomy: Drawing Grasshoppers||Begin G+C Chapter 3|
|September 17|| Internal Anatomy
|Internal Anatomy: Dissecting Cockroaches|| Continue G+C Chapter 3
|September 19|| Geologic/Fossil History I
|Aquatics Field Trip||G+C Chapter 7: Insect Systematics, esp. 7.3 pp. 201-207 plus one of the subdivisions
G+C Chapter 8: only pages 229-236 for Midterm I
|September 24|| Geologic/Fossil History II
Higher Classification of Insects I
|Quiz 3 - External and Internal Insect Anatomy||Non-Hexapod Arthropods, Non-Insect Hexapods, Apterygota, Palaeoptera|
|September 26||**First Lecture Midterm**||Zoraptera, Dermaptera, Plecoptera||Tom Eisner - Love Potion
G+C Ch. 6 (up to Dealing With Environmental Extremes)
|October 1|| Development and Growth
|Quiz 4 - Non-Insect Hexapods, Apterygota, Paleoptera||Dictyoptera, Phasmatodea, Embioptera, Grylloblattodea, Orthoptera||G+C Chapter 4: Sensory Systems|
|October 3|| Molting and Life Cycles I
|Send Labels for Collection Check #1 to Kevin no later than Oct 5th||Thysanoptera, Hemiptera I (aquatic)||G+C Ch. 3
May Berenbaum - A Prayer Before Dining
|October 8|| Molting and Life Cycles II
|October 10|| Nervous System and Sensory Organs I
|Collection Check #1|| Hemiptera III (Aucheno- and Sternorrhyncha, Fulgoroidea), Psocodea
steam room adventure (bring headlamp)
|Finish G+C Ch. 4
Howard Ensign Evans - Bed Bugs and Other Cuddly Things (up to pg. 178)
|October 15|| Nervous System and Sensory Organs II
|Quiz 5 - Dermaptera-Psocodea (not including "optional" orders)|| Bug Jeopardy
Special Lab Topic: Plant secondary compounds & insect herbivory
|Genome editing retraces the evolution of toxin resistance in the monarch butterfly (paper from Allegra's speedtalk, not required reading)|
|October 17|| Social Insects I
|Neuropterida||G+C Ch. 12 Social Insects|
|October 22|| Social Insects II
|Aquatic Ecology||No new reading, study for midterm|
|October 24|| Special Lecture: Forensic Entomology with Dr. William Krisnky
|October 29||***Second Lecture Midterm***|| Special Lab Topic: Silk, Coleoptera II
|October 31|| Insects and Plants I
| Special Lab Topic: Ghost Moths and Other Scary Insects, Coleoptera III
|G+C Ch. 11
Thomas Belt - The Ant and the Acacia
|November 5|| Insects and Plants II
|Quiz 6 - Neuropterida, Coleoptera, Strepsiptera|| Insect Identification Lab (yours and aqautic lab samples)
Some online insect identification resources
|G+C Ch. 13|
|November 7|| Predators, Parasitoids, and Parasites I
| Trichoptera + Lepidoptera
|G+C Ch. 15|
|November 12|| Medical and Veterinary Entomology I
| Mecoptera, Siphonaptera, Diptera I
|November 14||Medical and Veterinary Entomology II||Diptera II|
|November 19||Special Lecture: Acoustical Behavior In Insects by Dr. Charles Henry||Diptera III|
|November 21||Insect Control/Pest Management||Quiz 7 - Amphiesmenoptera + Mecopteroidea
Collection Check #2
|Hymenoptera I||Read G+C Ch. 16|
|December 3||Insect Conservation|| Hymenoptera II
|December 5||TBD||Lab Practical||Open Lab|
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, ideally when both trade partners receive a family/order neither of them have.
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 and we will try not to take it from you : ).
Some Primo Collecting Locations in Walking Distance of Campus
Field and road edges near W lot on North Side of UConn campus
Pastures along Gurleyville Road on East side of campus
Powerline cut along Hunting Lodge Road on West side of campus
Near Dairy Bar (MANTID HOT SPOT)
Some Primo Collecting Locations in Driving Distance of Campus
UConn Fenton Tract. Turn off of Gurleyville Rd here. Remember to drive slow!