Lab Practical Advice

Half of your lab grade will come from the lab practical! This exam will cover all of the labs covered this semester. If you took the practice practical in class, you know what to expect. In past lab practicals, students have had the most difficulty with the following items:
  • Insect Orders. At a minimum, learn the important ones we saw during the semester (*Diptera, *Hymenoptera, *Lepidoptera, *Coleoptera, *Hemiptera, *Phthiraptera, *Siphonaptera, *Orthoptera, Odonata, Ephemeroptera, Phasmida, Isoptera and Dictyoptera). For the eight important orders marked with an asterisk, learn distinguishing characteristics that you could use in spot identification (i.e. Diptera have halteres, Lepidoptera have scales and a proboscis).
  • Systematics and Nomenclature. Know how taxonomic names are written, type specimens, what is on an insect label, and in general how to preserve insect specimens.
  • Silk, Dye, and Honey labs. Products we discussed, and the insects that produce them.
  • Edible Insects. Know allergies and edible insects.
  • Predators. Interpretation of predator response curves; predator types.
  • Genetics. Drosophila mutations; aposematism, crypsis, and homotypism.
  • Aquatic Insects. Structures involved in underwater respiration and how they function.
  • Parasites. Ectoparasites vs. endoparasites, orders, basic details about malaria, typhus and plague.
  • Forensic Entomology. Postmortem estimate of death; insects associated with successional stages of decomposition.
  • Senses. Sensory structures and functions (especially acoustical); pheromones.
  • Bee Research Field Trip. Beekeeping safety, honeybee castes, basic beekeeping equipment.
If you would like to take a look at an old practical, check out our practice practical.