Unit 9 in Entomology
We've learned what insects are, how they reproduce, how they digest their food, how they move around,
some of their behaviors, and now we'll learn how insects adapt to their environment.
adaptation to habitats.
In this unit we’ll discuss some ecology and related terms, we’ll build a simple food web using only insects
for the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, we’ll describe ways insects have adapted to the soil and
aquatic environments and discuss the advantages of biological monitoring and the specific indications of
poor water quality using insects as indicators.
Are you ready for an adventure?
We're going to take a journey to some specialized habitats where
insects have become extremely successful.
In unit three, you learned some of the adaptations, such as
gills for breathing underwater, and in lab you’ve learned several different leg adaptations for digging in
Now we’re going to explore some of the specific habitats where these adaptations, and others, are
Before we begin the lecture, please read your textbook readings on aquatic insects and also
read the chapter on soil insects.
As in other biological systems, there are always terms that need to be defined.
Let's begin with ecology.
Insect ecology is the branch of entomology that focuses on the interrelationships between insects and
For an ecologist the concept of an environment includes all of the living things as well
as the nonliving things, so it includes the biotic system as well as the abiotic system, and all of the
components interact within a framework called a natural community.
A community is all of the organisms
living in a particular area and includes populations of different species of plants and animals, and many
times these are represented as a food chain.
And each link of the food chain represents a trophic level
encompassing either producers, which are generally plants, or consumers, which are usually animals.
habitat is the locality or site and the type of the environment that an organism lives in: a pond, a field, a
stump, an oak tree, these are all examples of habitats.
A niche is the ecological role a species plays
within a community such as an insect that feeds on the roots of grasses or one that eats aphids on the
It’s what an organism does for a living within a habitat.
A population is a group or an individual
organism that belongs to the same species and lives in a particular geographic location.
And lastly, an
An ecosystem is the combination of the community of organisms (remember, that's like the
food chain) in an area and the abiotic factors such as the air, the water, the soil, or any other minerals or
things that are nonliving.