Donít scrap the class. There is no substitute for getting out in nature and seeing or collecting insects in their natural environment, but there are alternatives. You can have students take photos of insects around them, even dead ones on window sills or car bumpers. Everyone has a smart phone with a camera. My non-major class loves this because they comment on each othersí photos and share experiences. 

You could still teach them how to identify orders and major families. With so many good digital images out there, it is easy to find photos with diagnostic features for many orders and families. Sometimes on lab exams I give just give a part of an insect to identify to family, like a mirid wing or a tiphiid wing. 

With so much collection available online, you could have them do a taxon-specific project, mining data to answer questions about ranges, changes in ranges, ecology, etc.


Greg Z.

Gregory Zolnerowich
Dept. of Entomology
123 Waters Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
phone 785-532-3799