LEARNING OBJECTIVES OF SECTION
After completing this section students should be able to:
Terms: Soil building, decomposition, maggots, carrion beetles, blow flies, flesh flies, forensic entomology.
- Describe the general role of insects in soil building and decomposition of organic matter.
- Explain how insects speed the process of recycling of nutrients by attacking living, dying and dead plants.
- Explain the role of insects in the general decomposition of animal bodies and fecal material.
- Describe the various approaches used by various species of dung beetles in dealing with this "valuable" resource.
- Describe the relative importance of various insect groups in the aiding the decomposition of dead animals.
- Explain how Forensic Scientists use insects in obtaining important information about time of death and other data from crime scenes.
Decomposers of Organic Wastes (Recycling Energy).
1. General role.
a. Soil building.
2. Decomposition of plant materials.
a. Living plants.
b. Dying Plants.
c. Dead Plants.
3. Decomposers of animal material.
a. Dung beetles.
c. Carrion beetles.
d. Flesh flies.
e. Forensic entomology.
- List some insects groups that are important in the soil building process? How do they contribute to this process?
- Why do you think insects are considered some of the earliest "recyclers".
- In what ways do insects speed up the decomposition process?
- What insect groups attack living plants? How does this aid in the process of recycling nutrients?
- What insect groups attack dead plants? Why are they important?
- Give an example of the importance of dung beetles to humans.
- Describe the role of maggots, carrion beetles and flesh flies in the decomposition of dead animals.
- How would a Forensic entomologists be able to determine the time of death of a human?
- What is maggot therapy? How was it discovered?
- Rank the following as to their importance the decomposition process (most important to least important). Bacteria, Insects, Fungi, Viruses.
Go to Section XI - Insects as Food