ENV BIOL 3024 - Insect Identification and Taxonomy III

North Terrace Campus - Summer - 2014

This course takes an evolutionary approach to examining insect diversification, the most species-rich component of terrestrial ecosystems. It covers various aspects of insect systematics and evolution, including the integration of morphology, life history, behaviour and ecology. 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; sound production methods and functions; feeding mechanisms; adaptations and biology of vertebrate ectoparasites; insects as disease vectors of plants and animals; mimicry and defensive adaptations; parasitism. 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.

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