FIELD
ENTOMOLOGY
Fall 2001


Course: Biology 360 - Field Entomology

Instructor: Dr. Alan Hale (SC134), 606-4666 x3510, abhale@cedarcrest.edu

Meeting Times: M 1-4 p.m. (Science Center 118)

Course Description: Insects are by far the most diverse and abundant group of animals on Earth. More than a million species exist on our planet. This course is an introduction to the life history, ecology, behavior and evolution of insects and their close relatives. In the field and laboratory students will focus on the identification of different insect groups and their respective life stages. Many sessions will be spent in the field collecting insects from different ecosystems. Applications to forensics, environmental science, and the medical and veterinary sciences will be addressed.



Textbooks:
Bland, Roger G. and H.E. Jaques. 1978. How to know the insects. WCB/McGraw-Hill, 409 pp.

Chu, H.F. and L.K. Cutkomp. 1992. How to know the immature insects. WCB/McGraw-Hill, 346 pp.

Many other texts and identification keys are available in the laboratory to supplement the above books.

Course Web Site: In case you're looking at a hard copy of the syllabus, it can also be found at

http://www2.cedarcrest.edu/academic/bio/hale/entomo.html


Bulletin Board: A portion of the bulletin board between my office and the MacLab will be used for this course. I will be posting interesting web sites and news articles. Take a break once in a while and check them out.

Design of the Course

Insects and other arthropods are beautiful creatures. Unfortunately, all too often the media takes aim at the "nasty" ones like black widow spiders, scorpions, and ticks, and ignores the majestic, ornate, clever, and overly curious types. This course will present a good cross section of the most diverse animal group on our planet. And, the best way to learn all about them is to get out into the field to see them and collect them. You'll be in streams and lake, forests and fields. You'll see how they behave, feed, hide, and interact with other organisms in nature. In the classroom you'll learn about dichotomous keys, taxonomy and classification their morphology, evolution and many other aspects of this diverse group. Creating a collection is the best way to get to know these critters. Not only will you have a magnificent collection at the end of the semester that will reflect the fruits of your labor, you will have a diversity of species on display to share with young students (e.g. student teaching and beyond) and nieces, nephews, children, and even adults. Children are very curious, and creating insect collections is a popular activity among them. Use your collection and understanding of the insect world to captivate their attention and expand their imagination.

In addition to the fun described above, each student will have an opportunity to dig deeper into a subject that really interests her. In the past students have learned a lot more about medically-oriented topics (e.g., Lyme disesase, encephalitis), those related to environmental destruction (e.g.,adelgids), topics related to forensics (e.g., determining time of death based on larval infestation), econonmically important insects (e.g., silk moth) and many other topics. Each student will then have the pleasure of presenting her findings to the class. This has been a valuable part of the class because it not only gives the student a solid understanding of a particular topic, but also, it gives other students facts and stories to share with children and other enthusiastic humans.

Grading There are three components to one's final grade: insect/arthropod collection (50%), practical exam (40%) and special topic talk (10%). In addition, attendance is very important. One absence will pass like a swarm of midges in the early morning darkness. However, five percentage points will be subtracted for each additional absence.

Insect/Arthropod Collection Students should work/play to create their own collection with the following characteristics, and labeled as such:

Practical Examination This exam, scheduled for mid-November, will test how well you know your entomology. Specimens of all types will be distributed throughout the lab. With some special exceptions spot identifications will be restricted to phylum, class and order. In some cases keys will be available so identifications can be taken down to the family, genus or species level. Questions will also address morphology, anatomy, ecology, behavior, applications, etc.

Special Topic Talks Everyone has their own reason for being in Field Entomology. Some like bugs, others have an interest in forensics or medicine, and still others enjoy the beauty of nature and recognize that insects are the most diverse group of animals on earth. Whatever the reason, every student will have the opportunity to research their insect-related interests to a greater depth and then share their understanding with the rest of the class. These talks can be given during any part of the semester. A sign-up sheet will be posted on the bulletin board.

Lecture and Laboratory Schedule Scheduling of different topics throughout the semester will very much reflect the interests and background of the students.



Class Schedule - Fall 2001

DATE LECTURE/LAB/EXPEDITION READING
Aug 27 Overview of Course
Distribution of Collection Supplies
Collection Techniques*
Field: CCC Forest

* different techniques to be covered throughout semester
syllabus
-
Bland (B) 1-12
-
-
-
Sept 3 Labor Day Holiday -
Sept 10 *** Evening Session: 6-9 p.m. ***
Preservation and Mounting of Adult Insects
Collection Techniques
Field: Night Collections
-
B 13-21
B 8, 27-29
-
Sept 17 Dichotomous Keys
Adult Insect Morphology
Organizing and Maintaining an Insect Collection
CCC Insect Collection
B 40
B 30-36
B 22-24
-
Sept 24 Morphology of Immature Insects
Habitat Preferences of Immatures
Collection and Preservation Techniques
Field: CCC Woods
Chu (C) 9-34
C 35-36
C 36-43
-
Oct 1 Field: Lehigh Parkway -
Oct 8 Fall Break -
Oct 15 Field: Trexler Wetlands -
Oct 22 Insect Taxonomy and Classification
Pinning and Identification
B 38-39
B and C Keys
Oct 29 Aquatic Insects - Habitats and Life Histories
Collection Techniques
Field: Cedar Creek and Rose Garden Ponds
C 4
B 5-6
-
Nov 5 Identification of Immature Specimens
Student Presentation(s)
Develop Insect Collection
C 45-311
-
-
Nov 12 Insect Behavior and Evolution
Student Presentation(s)
Develop Insect Collection
handout
-
-
Nov 19 Arthropods vs. the Human Species
Student Presentation(s)
Develop Insect Collection
handout
-
-
Nov 26 PRACTICAL EXAMINATION All To Date
Dec 3 Field: The Seasonal Effect - Location TBD
Student Presentation(s)
Develop Insect Collection
-
-
-
Dec 10 Student Presentation(s)
Complete Insect Collection
-
-



Alan B. Hale (abhale@cedarcrest.edu)
Last updated: 27 July '01
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