Multiple Choice

Blogging has been slow this week as, among other things, I’m readying the final exam for Insects & People. Here is an excerpt from a practice exam administered earlier this evening:

In the absence of posting, I figured I’d at least offer some multiple-choice questions.

21 thoughts on “Multiple Choice”

  1. Aw, cetoniines! Wow, I’d never heard of Seguy at all– will pass that on for future Insects in Art lectures. Also, I would like framed prints of all of his beetle art immediately, pls.

  2. I just failed your course. I guess, given my regression, I’m now an ecologist. I’m off to go argue with someone about the “best” statistical analysis, eva!

    1. hmmmm…

      Not likely considering the number of species and diversity of morphs involved. You could generalize within hundreds of thousands of species in a certain development group (eg Holometabola) but the large numbers of species in more ‘primitive’ groups are problematic.

      1. Just WAY too many species in which adults do not have wings, even in the Holometabola.

        Big fleas have little fleas,
        Upon their backs to bite ’em,
        And little fleas have lesser fleas,
        and so, ad infinitum….

    2. dfg, here is a general cheat sheet… but it is by no means ‘simple:

      – Wingless / aquatic = immature
      – Terrestrial / short caudal filaments / 4 cloudy wings (rear are small) = subimago
      – Terrestrial / long filaments / transparent wings = imago (aka adult)

      – Wingless / aquatic = immature
      – 4 wings / terrestrial= adult

      – Wingless / aquatic = immature (with exceptions – there are wingless species)
      – 4 wings / terrestrial = adult

      – Wingless = immature (with exceptions – there are wingless species)
      – 4 wings = adult

      – Wingless = immature
      – 2 wings / 2 tegmina = adult

      – Wingless grub = immature
      – Wings AND/OR “termitey-looking” = adult

      – Wingless = immature (with exceptions – there are wingless species)
      – Wings = adult

      – Wingless = immature
      – 4 wings (front pair often leathery) = adult

      – Wingless = immature (with exceptions, there are wingless species)
      – 2 wings/ 2 tegmina = adult

      – Wingless = immature (with exceptions, there are wingless species)
      – 4 wings = adult

      – Wingless = immature (with exceptions, there are wingless species)
      – 2 wings = adult (most species possess two pairs of wings, but some have only one pair and a few species have none)

      – Wingless larva = immature
      – Wings, “Anty looking” = adult (most ants lack wings – only reproductives have them, velvet ants are actually wasps without wings, there are some other wasps without wings as well)

      – Wingless grub = immature
      – 2 wings / 2 elytra = adult

      – Wingless = immature
      – 2 wings = adult

      – Wingless / some aquatic = immature
      – 2 wings = adult (with exceptions, there are wingless species

      – Wingless / aquatic = immature
      – 4 wings / terrestrial = adult

      – Wingless = immature
      – 4 wings = adult

      – Wingless = immature (often with large mandibles)
      – 4 wings = mature

      – Wingless / mandibles = immature
      – 4 wings / coiled proboscis = adult

      – Wingless / aquatic / many with cases = immature
      – 4 wings / terrestrial = adult

      – Wingless = immature
      – 4 fringed wings = adult

      – Larva = immature
      – “flea-like” = adult

      – Wingless = immature male/ female or adult female (if free living = a male, if protruding between abdominal segments in adult wasps = adult females)
      – 2 wings = adult males

      – Wingless = immature male/female or adult female (with exceptions, there are wingless species)
      – 4 wings = adult males

      …and then of course there are the ones that we just won’t mention: Phthiraptera, Zoraptera, Grylloblattodea, Protura, Collembola

      Please feel free to quality control folks… when I work from memory, mistakes can run rampant

      1. I suspect that you would need a number more “= adult (with exceptions, there are wingless species)” in groups in which you do not have them. Especially in the more diverse groups like Coleoptera, but others as well.

        Based on my vast ignorance, however, I will not suggest specific places where you need to add the phrase.

        I will just agree with James C. Trager and say
        ” We want more ants. 🙂 ”

        BTW, James, I have no problem with the folks who call immature “hemimetabola” “larva” but you might given that statement “looks like a larva”.

        hmmm….exactly what DOES a larva look like anyway ?

    3. There is a simple rule – adults are sexually mature, immatures are not.

      So a micromalthid ‘pupa’ may be an adult, but a winged mayfly subimago is not. A silverfish is an adult when sexually mature, but may undergo numerous additional moults as an adult. Technically, one could argue that any bug that looks like an adult but needs further maturation to reproduce is not yet an adult. So, even this simple rule is not very simple. Also, arthropods don’t seem interested in making our definitions any easier. For example, some collembolans (not an insect) apparently alternate between sexually mature and inactive stages after their first adult stage.

        1. That is beyond wierd!
          (And BioBob, I’m okay with odonates and other pupa-less insects having larvae.)

      1. Speaking of mayflies, did you know that if you take eggs from mature larva (nymphs) of certain families still in the aquatic stage (not subimagos, not imagos) they WILL hatch and grow fine. Nobody knows if their is actual reproduction in this manner but there it is.

        It gets wierder the more you look….

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