20220 Insects

Credits: 3 intermediate credits in Life Sciences

Prerequisites: none

Required: General Biology I, General Biology II

Recommended: Vertebrates

Authors: Michael Costa, Danny Simon, Victoria Soroker

Insects constitute more than 80% of all living species on earth. Representatives of insects can be found on each trophic level except primary producers. This thriving group is the result of a long evolutionary path, which brought about the development of organisms entirely different from vertebrates. Familiarity with insects is therefore essential for those interested in understanding the animal kingdom, especially in light of the importance of insects to humans in the areas of medicine, agriculture and scientific research.

In the course, students gain familiarity with insects through guided observation of live insects at all five tutorial sessions and during a field trip. Various aspects of insect function are also demonstrated through experiments, photos and films. Participation in the field trip and in the fifth tutorial session the grasshopper dissection laboratory is mandatory. The materials include an appendix that provides fundamentals of classification, classification of Arthropods, and guidelines to collecting insects in the field; and a collection of up-to-date articles in English which are recommended reading.

Topics: First encounter with a strange world; Absorbing information; The insect as a moving system; Insect metabolism; Hemolymph, hormones, and reproductive systems; Insects, plants and humans.