Biology of Aquatic Insects Lab

Biology of Aquatic Insects Lab

Biology of Aquatic Insects Lab, ESPM 115B

Tuesday 2-5 pm, 306 Wellman

GSI: Tina Mendez,

Required Text:

Merritt, R. W. and K. W. Cummins. 1996. An Introduction to the

Aquatic Insects of North America, Third Edition. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa.

Required (or useful) Materials:

1. Dissecting Kit: i.e., the little blue ones at the ASUC for ~$12 (make sure there is a set with at least one pair of fine tip forceps and a fine probe, or two pairs of forcepts (at least one fine tip pair) and a probe--you can get fancy ones from BioQuip if you want to order them or buy them from ESO.

You’ll need these forceps for EVERY LAB. Please remember them.

Write your name on them, love them forever.

2. Vials: 5-10 dram glass or plastic, will be provided by the class to be used for collections, projects, and rapid bioassessments. If you are planning on keeping your collection, you may need to buy the vials, otherwise, unwanted collections can be integrated into the teaching collection.

3. For collecting: eyedroppers, little hand-held sieves for dipping, Tupperware and small boxes for keeping live specimen and vials in, Ziplock bags, pint-sized-well-sealing plastic bottles (for keeping extra Ethanol) on trips, and shoulder bags or big pockets to put vials in while collecting.

Grading Structure:

Grades for the lab make up 25% of your final grade in the class. There will be four quizzes throughout the semester in lab each counting for 5% of the lab grade. These quizzes may be identification of insects or questions about lectures given in lab and may be cumulative. Rather than testing with two lab practicals worth a larger percentage of your final grade, this approach is intended to test you as you progress with smaller, more focused material. In addition to these lab quizzes, there will be 5% of the lab grade comprised of various in class or homework assignments.

General Rules and Lab Safety:

1. Don’t drink the alcohol. Even though it’s Ethanol, it’s not pure. Hexanes and such have been added to dry it to 100%, so it’s really not safe for consumption.

2. Please don’t eat during lab.

3. Shoes please, though we are in Berkeley, still wear them.

4. Please don’t poke anyone with the forceps or probe unless they ask.

Lab Schedule:

DateLab TitleReadings in M&C



26Insect Morphology and sampling2, 3


2 Aquatic Insect Orders9

9 Collembola & Ephemeroptera10, 11

16 Quiz 1 (Morphology and Insect Orders)


23 Plecoptera14

30 Hemiptera15


7Orthoperta, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera,

Neuroptera, & Megaloptera16, 19, 21

14Quiz 2 (Hemimetabolus Insects)

Trichoptera & Lepidoptera17, 18






18Quiz 3 (Holometabolus Insects)7


25Quiz 4 (Biomonitoring)

Collection and Project Time



Collecting Equipment:

Nets, boots, sorting trays, etc. may be checked out from Tina in 302 Wellman by signing out the equipment and giving a date that the equipment will be returned. Please arrange to check out equipment at least by Wednesday of the week which you need to borrow it.

Keep in mind that this equipment belongs to the Resh lab, and not necessarily to the teaching collection, so please do not damage or lose the equipment. Please be prompt about returning the equipment because other students will need to borrow it.

Items available for checkout:

Big rubber boots (mainly smaller sizes, a few pairs of the larger sizes), D-frame and kick nets (superfine Nytex mesh, up to 2 mm), Surber samplers, Hess samplers, drift nets (questionable) and fish-tank nets.