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Insect Structure and Function (11:370:403)

View Syllabus (134k PDF)

  1. Semester: Spring 2024
  2. Period:  M, Th (12:10–1:30 p.m., lab W 3:50 –6:50 p.m.)
  3. Credits: 4
  4. Format: Lecture/Lab. This course meets twice a week for lecture (2.4 hrs) and once a week for lab (3 hrs)
  5. Text (recommended but not required): Principles of Insect Morphology by R. E. Snodgrass; The Insects: Structure and Function by R. F. Chapman

Course Website and Materials

  • Handouts will be distributed in class.
  • Reading materials and articles will be distributed through Sakai.


This course will introduce students to the morphology and physiological systems of insects. The diversity of insects is readily recognizable through morphological features, and their abundance and ability to occupy a wide range of ecological niches can be attributed to adaptations of both external structures and internal physiology. Also covered is comparative external morphology relevant to identification of insect groups

Learning Goals

Core Curriculum Learning Goals

  • Students should be able to define key concepts relating to insect morphology, physiology and evolution covered in lecture materials.
  • Students should be able to distinguish insects based upon morphological structures.
  • Students should be able to apply course material to demonstrate their ability to solve real world problems.
  • Students should be able to examine scientific studies to draw connections between lecture material and current research to draw conclusions on the need for research.
  • Students should be able to gain an understanding of the significance of different insect structure and how this relates to their function.
  • Analyzing comparative mechanisms is crucial.

Additional Learning Goals Specific to This Course and Corresponding LG for Entomology Program

  • Attain exposure to the diversity, evolution of insects (1)
  • Knowledge of insect morphology, biology, behavior, and ecology (1)
  • Knowledge of the environmental importance of insects (2)
  • Familiarity with the health and economic impacts of insects on humans (2)
  • Preparation for advanced courses in Entomology (1)

Link to Entomology Undergraduate Program Goals

Assignments/Resposibilities, Grading & Assessment

Achievement of learning goals will be based on beginning-of-class quizzes, two mid-term exams, a final exam, a laboratory portion and class attendance combined with participation credit. It is critical that students attend class, and so to encourage attendance part of the grade will be based on classroom attendance and participation

Item Percent of Grade
Midterm Exams (15% each ) 30%
Final Exam 20%
Lab 25%
Quizzes (2% each) 10%
Participation/discussions 15%


Dr. Chloe Hawkings
Thompson Hall, Room 132
Office Hours: By appointment-->