BIOL211-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Insect Biology

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


The biology of insects and other non-marine arthropods, with emphasis on environmental relationships and management. Note - this course will be offered in even-numbered years.

Insects are the most diverse and successful group of organisms on Earth. Insects exhibit a startling array of life-history strategies, forms and functions, and they affect all aspects of our daily lives. Without insects, ecosystems as we know them would cease to exist. Entomology is not just about naming and classifying species, it is about discovering the evolutionary relationships among organisms, learning how species interact with each other to shape community structure, and applying detailed knowledge of insect biology to practical human problems. The aim of this course is to provide a fundamental grounding in insect biology that is essential for both theoretical and applied ecologists working in terrestrial and freshwater environments. The course will cover the diversity, evolution, systematics, physiology, ecology and behaviour of insects. Lectures will also cover applied aspects of insect biology, including medical, forensic and economic entomology. Insect Biology is particularly important for students pursuing third year courses in ecology, physiology and behaviour.

Learning Outcomes

Develop knowledge about:

  • The evolutionary origin of distinct groups of insects, the diversity of insect orders and their unique identifying features.
  • Insect form and function and the adaptions of insects to numerous environmental challenges.
  • The diverse ecological roles occupied by insects.
  • Practical skills including insect collection, identification, and preservation.

    These principles are presented in lectures and further developed in laboratories and will be assessed through a combination of regular online quizzes, an insect collection, a laboratory identification test and the final exam.

    Transferable skills register
  • Taxonomic identification of insect orders. The process of taxonomic classification is fundamental to advancement in biology and ecology, as well as your own understanding of ecosystems.
  • Organising the collection of field data, practical field skills, and the organisation of samples and processing post field collection.


Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
1 Thursday 15:00 - 16:00 A5 Lecture Theatre 10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
1 Wednesday 09:00 - 10:00 E16 Lecture Theatre 10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
1 Monday 14:00 - 15:00 Link 309 Lecture Theatre 10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
1 Tuesday 13:00 - 16:00 Forestry 152 10 Sep - 21 Oct

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Helen Warburton


Tara Murray

Lab Technician

Claire Galilee


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Online Multi-choice Tests 15%
Insect Collection Assignment 30%
Insect Identification Lab Assessment 15%
Final Exam 40%

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $865.00

International fee $3,788.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences.

All BIOL211 Occurrences

  • BIOL211-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018