BIOL211-20T4 (C) Term Four 2020

Insect Biology

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 7 September 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 18 September 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 23 October 2020


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

As a student in this course, I will develop:
 An understanding of the evolutionary origin of distinct groups of insects, the diversity of insect orders and their unique identifying features assessment: on-line quizzes, laboratories, final exam).
 An understanding of insect form and function and the adaptions of insects to numerous environmental challenges (assessment: laboratories, practical test).
 An appreciation of the diverse ecological roles occupied by insects (assessment: on-line quizzes, final exam).
 Practical skills including insect collection, identification, and preservation (assessment: insect collection).
 An understanding of Māori names and the importance of several insects to Māori (assessment: in laboratories and insect collection).

Transferable skills register
As a student in this course, I will develop:
 Skills in 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.
 The ability to organise the collection of field data, practical field skills, and the organisation of samples and processing post field collection.


Timetable 2020

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 13:00 - 14:00 Ernest Rutherford 460
7 Sep - 18 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 10:00 - 11:00 Ernest Rutherford 225 (2/10-16/10)
John Britten 117 HP Seminar Room (11/9-25/9)
7 Sep - 18 Oct
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 10:00 - 11:00 Jack Erskine 445
7 Sep - 18 Oct
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 09:00 - 12:00 Ernest Rutherford 350 Biology Project Space 7 Sep - 18 Oct

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Jonathan Harding


Steve Pawson

Lab Technician

Claire Galilee


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Insect collection assignment 30%
Final exam 40%
Insect indentification laboratory assessment 15%
Online multi-choice tests 15% 3 tests

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $900.00

International fee $4,250.00

* 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

  • BIOL211-20T4 (C) Term Four 2020