BIMWK2-Advanced Insect Identification

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Graham Holloway


Summary module description:

This module builds on learning gathered during Invertebrate Survey and Assessment (BIMWK1) but focusses wholly on terrestrial insects. For students who have had little training in this area, the module will train them to identify all common invertebrate groups and in the use of identification keys. A variety of taxonomic groups will be covered including Lepidoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Orthoptera, Odonata and Hymenoptera. All students will develop their taxonomy skills and learn to appreciate the fine detail that is required for accurate identification. This module aims to be accessible to students from a wide variety of undergraduate degree backgrounds and to provide them with the grounding in the subject that might be required for their career development.

Assessable learning outcomes:
•Taxonomic knowledge of insect orders.
•Ability to use keys to identify insects in certain orders down to family

Additional outcomes:
•Students will develop an appreciation of the need to recognize detail for identification purposes that cuts across taxonomic groups.
•Students will improve their organisational skills and attention to detail in both identifying organisms and in reporting names correctly.
•Specialist knowledge of some families of Coleoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera, Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera.

Outline content:
The module will be split into four taught blocks in the Autumn term: general terrestrial invertebrate survey techniques, freshwater techniques, surveying the sea shore and use of invertebrate keys. Each element will require field work on or beyond campus to collect material or data. In the Spring term we will concentrate on developing specialist skills in terrestrial invertebrate identification. Each student will be assessed on their ability to identify an individual box of invertebrates and key out insects under exam conditions.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is entirely laboratory based. There are a few lectures introducing students to certain groups of insects but the majority of time will be concerned with practical insect identification. The session on Lepidoptera will use visual guides as keys are generally not used for identification in this group. Otherwise, keys will be used for Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Diptera and Hymenoptera. Most sessions will end with a summative test covering material learnt during the day. The module will culminate in a test covering all insect groups addressed and the techniques used for identification.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 6
Practicals classes and workshops 34
Guided independent study 60
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Class test administered by School 100

Other information on summative assessment:
• Identification of insect specimens
• Correct use of identification keys
• Spots tests to assess general identification skills developed during the module.

Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination in September only.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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