Synopsis for 11:370:403.

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Instructor: Dr. Frank Louis Carle (
Semester, Period & Format: Fall; Tu, Th (12:35 – 5:15, 2:15 – 3:35pm) Lec./Lab
Location: 101 Blake
Pre-requisites: (11:370:202 or 11:370:381 suggested)
Required Texts: Principles of Insect Morphology by R. E. Snodgrass
Description: Unrivaled diversity and vast numbers attest to the success of Insects, but why are insects so successful? A few ancient innovations separated the proto insects from their now relatively extinct crustacean precursors; is this related to the hexapod condition or mouth parts derived from an octopod condition or both?  In this course students will learn the structure and function of crucial insect systems and retrace the evolutionary series of innovations which explain insect success. Areas of study include tagmosis, endo- and exoskeleton, integument, molting, sclerotization, muscle, venation, and insect sex. Comparative studies are made of sclerite, locomotory, mouth part, fore leg, flight, wing folding, nervous, sensory, circulatory, tracheal, digestive and reproductive systems. The comparative structure and function of insect systems are studied for insect orders including dissections of exemplars from Odonata, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Orthoptera, Dictyoptera, Hemiptera, Megaloptera, Coleoptera and Diptera. The structure and function of the ultracomplex ribosomal molecule is studied and an insect phylogeny derived from it will be compared to a phylogeny based on classic morphologic evidence.
Course Learning Goals:

  • Knowledge of structure and function of insect systems
  • Expertise on comparative system structure and function of insect orders
  • Familiarity with the naming system for Insect sclerites
  • Familiarity with the functional naming system for muscles
  • Knowledge of differences and similarities between human and insect systems
  • Be able to retrace evolutionary series of  insect system innovations

Student Learning Assessment: [% of final grade]

  • 2 Hourly exams [25%]
  • 2 Lab practical exams [25 %]
  • Final practical exam [12.5%]
  • Final written exam [37.5%]

Contact Information:
Dr. Frank Louis Carle           
Room 002, McClean Labs

Office Hours Open