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Learning Objectives

Lesson #7-- Insect Behavior


  1. Describe the morphology of a typical nerve cell (neuron) and explain the difference between afferent, efferent, and internuncial neurons.
  2. Compare and contrast the structure and function of insect mechanoreceptors, chemoreceptors, and photoreceptors.  List the different types of sensory input detected by each receptor.
  3. Explain the "mosaic theory" of insect vision and list at least five differences in visual perception between insects and humans.
  4. Describe the general organization of an insect's nervous system, name the major nerves and ganglia, and explain the basic pattern of innervation.
  5. Diagram a simple reflex arc.  Explain how a reflex differs from a taxis, a kinesis, and a transverse orientation.  Describe how a releaser is related to a fixed action pattern.
  6. Explain the difference between innate behavior, learned behavior, and complex behavior.  Compare and contrast habituation, imprinting, conditioning, and instrumental learning.
  7. Identify at least three different patterns of periodic behavior in insects.  Distinguish between endogenous and exogenous activity and explain the role of a "zeitgeber".
  8. Define "communication."   List seven reasons why insects communicate and give examples of how they do so by using tactile, visual, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory signals.
  9. List the four defining characteristics of eusociality.  Compare and contrast the life history, colony structure, and social organization of termites, ants, bees, and wasps.