ENV BIOL 3011 - Evolution and Diversity of Insects III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    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 Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Andrew Austin

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,2,3,4,6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3,4,5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4,5,6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1,2,3,4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Text 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 Resources
    Other text books and specific references, including web-based information, will be provided during lectures and/or practicals, and on MyUni
    Online Learning
     
    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. 

    Workload

    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 Requirements
    As part of this course each student must undertake a project involving the assembly of an insect collection 
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle (Yes/No) Outcome Assessed/Achieved
    Insect collection Formative/ Summative

    30%

    Yes (50%) 1,3,4,5
    Mid-term exam Formative/ Summative 25% No 1,2,3
    Final exam Summative 25% No 1,2,3
    Practical exam Summative 20% No 1,2,3
    Assessment Related Requirements
    To pass this course, students must obtain a final mark of at least 50% for the insect collection. There will be no opportunity for additional assessment on the insect collection.
    Assessment Detail
    Insect collection project (30% of total of course grades) As part of this course each student must undertake a project involving the assembly of a collection comprising a minimum of 150 species of insects covering a minimum of 15 orders and 70 families.

    Mid-term exam (25% of total of course grades) A 1.5-hour exam will cover material from lectures and practicals in weeks 1-6 and will be held in week 6 practical.

    Final Exam (25% of total of course grades) A 1-hour exam will be cover material from lectures and practicals in weeks 7-12 and will be held in the examination period. Final Practical Exam (20% of total of course grades) A 2-hour practical exam will be held in the examination period. 

    Final Practical Exam (20% of total of course grades) A 2-hour practical exam will be held in the examination period.
    Submission
    Submission
    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.
    Course Grading

    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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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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