ENV BIOL 3011 - Evolution and Diversity of Insects III
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021
General Course Information
Course Code ENV BIOL 3011 Course Evolution and Diversity of Insects III Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Assumed Knowledge ENV BIOL 2503 or equivalent Course Description After a brief review covering the internal anatomy of insects and the processes involved in metamorphosis, excretion and reproduction, a number of specific topics will be explored in more detail, including: morphological and biological characteristics of the major insect orders; life histories of selected pest and beneficial species; sociality, caste formation and nest building in termites; sound production methods and functions; feeding mechanisms; adaptations and biology of vertebrate ectoparasites; insects as disease vectors of plants and animals; production and function of silk in insects and arachnids; mimicry and defensive adaptations; sociality and parasitism in the Hymenoptera.
The practical component will examine collecting techniques, identification of adult insects to family level, identification of immature stages and feeding damage. A requirement of the course is the presentation of a well-curated insect collection.
Course Coordinator: Dr Erinn Fagan-Jeffries
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
A successful student in this course should be able to: 1 explain the biology and classification of insects at family level, particularly species of environmental and economic importance 2 explore the current theories in insect biology which attempt to explain the origins, functions and ecological significance of mimicry, sociality, defence strategies and parasitis 3 develop the skill required to properly collect and identify adult insects to family level, and to identify the damage they cause to plants 4 develop time and organisational management skills by undertaking a semester long project 5 work within a team to achieve project orientated outcomes 6 communicate the results of their project and other work in a clear and concise manner
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1, 2, 6 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
2, 3 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
3, 4, 5, 6 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
1, 2 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
2, 3, 5
Required ResourcesText book: The text CSIRO (1991) Insects of Australia - 2nd edition. Melbourne Univ. Press, is used as a manual during practical classes, and as a general reference. This book is now out of print, however we have a number of copies available for use during practicals. Practical material: Notes will be provided and made available via MyUni.
Recommended ResourcesOther text books and specific references, including web-based information, will be provided during lectures and/or practicals, and on MyUni
MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
The course consists of:
2 x 1-hour lecture per week
1 x 4-hour practical per week
As part of this course each student must undertake a project involving the assembly of an insect collection.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
Learning Activities Summary
Lectures Practicals Week 1 Introduction to the course – insect diversity; insects as pests and beneficial organisms; evolution and phylogeny of arthropods; monophyletic versus polyphyletic evolution of the exoskeleton; relationships among the major arthropod groups (Hexapoda, Crustacea, Chelicerata, etc); impact of molecular phylogenetic studies.
External morphology of insects: sclerites and inter-segmental membranes; head (mouthparts and antennae); thorax (legs, wings and wing venation); abdomen (genitalia); holometabolous versus hemimetabolous development.
Collecting techniques, mounting and preparation of specimens for identification; insect collection project; demonstration of insects of economic importance; types of damage caused by insects. Visit to Waite Insect & Nematode Collection Week 2 Structure and function of the arthropod exoskeleton; running, jumping, swimming and flying (how the arthropod exoskeleton works); structure of cuticle; control and function of moulting; metamorphosis; structure and function of the alimentary tract, nervous system, sensory structures, excretion, reproduction.
Apterygote hexapods; Collembola – morphology and biology; life history of Sminthurus viridis; Protura and Diplura – description. Thysanura – morphology, development, pest status; radiation of the pterygote insects
External morphology of insects; adult identification to order. Week 3 Minor orders: Odonata – morphology, biology and suborders; Ephemeroptera – morphology and biology; Plecoptera – morphology and biology; Blattodea – morphology, biology and pest status; Mantodea – morphology and biology; Phasmatodea – morphology, biology and pest status.
Isoptera – modified cockroaches?, morphology, castes, sociality and life cycles, caste determination and developmental pathways, control of caste development, colony foundation, nest construction for protection and environmental control, food, predators, pest status.
Identification of Collembola, Thysanura, Ephemeroptera, Odonata, Plecoptera, Blattodea, Phasmatodea, Mantodea, Isoptera and Embioptera. Week 4 Dermaptera – morphology and biology; Embioptera – morphology and biology; Orthoptera – general morphology; stridulatory and auditory organs; general biology; diapause; kentromorphism; migration – locusts versus grasshoppers; pest status and damage; life histories of Austroicetes cruciata; swarm formation in Chortoicetes terminifera. Psocoptera – morphology and biology; Phthiraptera – morphology, suborders, biology and adaptations as ectoparasites of vertebrates, host relationships pest status, life history and control of Damalinia ovis. Thysanoptera – morphology and biology; feeding habits and mouthparts; suborders; general life history; pest status. Identification of Orthoptera, Dermaptera, Phthiraptera, Thysanoptera, and Psocoptera Week 5 Hemiptera – general morphology and biology; sucking mouthparts, feeding habits, adaptations of the gut (filter chamber); relationships between major groups; sound production; economic significance; vectors of plant diseases and methods of transmission; suborders - morphology. Identification of Hemiptera, Neuroptera, Megaloptera, Mecoptera and Siphonaptera Week 6 Heteroptera – major families and their biology; predatory families; adaptations to aquatic habitats; divisions within the Homoptera (Auchenorrhyncha and Sternorrhyncha), morphological and biological differences; major auchenorrhynchan families; life cycle of cicadas; major groups of Sternorrhyncha; life cycles of aphids in Australia and the northern hemisphere; scale insects (Coccoidea). Identification of Hemiptera, Neuroptera, Megaloptera, Mecoptera and Siphonaptera Week 7 Megaloptera – morphology and biology; Neuroptera - morphology and general biology; Hemerobiidae and Chrysopidae as predators of pest insects; specialised families – Mantispidae and Myrmeleontidae; Strepsiptera - morphology and biology.
Coleoptera – general morphology: wing folding, larvae, pupae; general biology - diversity of life histories (plant feeders, wood feeders, predators, parasitoids, scavengers, detritivores); sound production; economic importance; suborders; major families and their biology; biological control of dung; adaptations to aquatic habitats; bark beetles (Ips) and Sitona weevil.
Identification of Coleoptera; species of economic importance; identification of immature insects. Week 8 Coleoptera continued.
Mecoptera – morphology and biology; Siphonaptera – morphology, adaptations as ectoparasites of vertebrates (contrast with the Phthiraptera); life cycles; economic and medical importance.
Identification of Stepsiptera and Coleoptera. Week 9 Diptera – general characteristics and morphology; mouthparts, wings and legs; diversity of life histories; suborders and classification; Nematocera – morphology; major families, species of economic and medical importance; aquatic larvae; life history of Anopheles and malaria; arbovirus vectors in Australia; other families and their importance as disease vectors – Leishmania, Onchocera, etc; Cecidomyiidae (gall midges) – biology. Brachycera - general characteristics, main families; Cyclorrhapha Aschiza – biology of Syrphidae as predators of aphids; Schizophora – morphology and function of the ptilinum; major families and their general biology; life history of fruit flies; general morphology of calyptrate families; biology and adaptations of Tachinidae as a major group of parasitoids; biology and characteristics of the Muscidae; transmission of disease and blood-sucking species; Calliphoridae – life history of Lucilia cuprina, blowfly strike; biology of vertebrate ectoparasites. Identification of Diptera. Week 10 Trichoptera – morphology and biology; Lepidoptera – morphology: wing venation, maxillary palps (proboscis), larvae, pupae; general biology: adult versus larval feeding; protective adaptations; mimicry; pheromone production; function of scales; silk; suborders and classification; major families, their biology and economic importance; life histories. Identification of Diptera and Lepidoptera. Week 11 Hymenoptera – characteristics, morphology: larvae, ovipositor; sex determination; classification; Symphyta, major families; life history of Sirex noctilio, damage, symbiotic fungus and control; Apocrita: types of parasitism; adaptations of parasitoids, host finding, host regulation; main groups, their host relationships and use as biological control agents; aculeate wasp biology functions of stinging, prey collection, main superfamilies; evolution of social behaviour; biology of highly social groups; importance of the Apoidea as pollinators in natural and agricultural systems; biology of the Formicidae. Identification of Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera Week 12 Course summary and examination requirements Identification of Hymenoptera. Week 13 Optional. This practical is an opportunity to go back over specimens and/or to work on students collection with staff being present to assist.
Specific Course RequirementsAs part of this course each student must undertake a project involving the assembly of an insect collection
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle (Yes/No) Outcome Assessed/Achieved Approximate timing of assessment(week of teaching period) Insect collection Formative/ Summative
No 3,4,5 SWOT week Mid-term exam Formative/ Summative 25% No 1,2 Week 7-8 (public holiday dependant) Final exam Summative 25% No 1,2 Exam period
Assessment Related RequirementsTo pass this course, students must obtain a final mark of at least 50%.
Assessment DetailTheory examination parts A (25%) and B (25%): 50%The first theory examination occurs in Week 7 (or in 2021 Week 8 due to public holidays) during the practical session, and assesses the first six weeks of lecture content, with several short answer and one long answerquestion. Part B assesses the second 6weeks of lecture content and occurs during the examination period.
Collection Project: 50%.
The 50% for the collection project includes 45% for the final insect collection,due at the end of semester,and 5% for the studentscompleting a formative feedback task earlier in the semester.In this assignment, students work throughout all of the practical sessions to collect, identify, and present a curated insect collection suitable for integration into a professional scientific or museum collection. This combines theory knowledge from lectures for identification of the insects and knowledge and skills gained during the practical sessions.
Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such
situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would
justify the awarding of an additional assessment. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to
the Course Co-ordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be
provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. The assessment extension application
form can be obtained from: http://www.sciences.adelaide.edu.au/current/
Late submission of assessments
If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
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