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Course, academic year 2019/2020
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Diversity of Insects - MB170P98
Title in English: Biodiverzita hmyzu
Czech title: Biodiverzita hmyzu
Guaranteed by: Department of Zoology (31-170)
Faculty: Faculty of Science
Actual: from 2016
Semester: winter
E-Credits: 3
Examination process: winter s.:
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:2/0 Ex [hours/week]
Capacity: unlimited
Min. number of students: 3
State of the course: taught
Language: English, Czech
Additional information:
Guarantor: Mgr. Martin Fikáček, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): Mgr. Martin Fikáček, Ph.D.
Mgr. Petr Janšta, Ph.D.
Mgr. Petr Šípek, Ph.D.
Annotation -
Last update: Mgr. Martin Fikáček, Ph.D. (07.08.2016)

How many species of insects are there on the world? Do we know why is the insect the most diverse group of the animals? Is this exceptional diversity present in all groups of insects or just in some of them and why? Was the insect diversity so high even in the past? What are the reasons to study the insect diversity, and what are the pitfalls? Are the insect taxonomists really proper scientists and are the museum collections good for anything? What are the usual and controversial ways to study insect biodiversity? Why is the insect collecting not allowed and not prohibited? Has the insect biodiversity even some direct impact to human being? The lecture provides the basic information
concerning the insect diversity allowing to answer and discuss the above (and many more) questions.

The course is open for all students (bachelor, master and doctoral level) without any special requirements, but previous passing of some basic Invertebrate Zoology and/or Basics of Evolutionary Biology courses may be an advantage. Contact M. Fikáček ( in case you are not sure whether to sign for the course or not.
Literature -
Last update: Mgr. Martin Fikáček, Ph.D. (07.08.2016)

Grimaldi D. & Engel M. (2004) Evolution of the insects. Cambridge Press.
Futuyma D. J. (2009) Evolution. Second Edition. Sinauer Associates Ltd.
Lomolino M. V., Riddle B. R., Whittaker R. J. & Brown J. H. (2010) Biogeography. Fourth Edition. Sinauer Associated Ltd.
Winston J. (1999) Describing species. Practical taxonomic procedure for biologists. Columbia University Press.

Additional references to particular topics (for voluntary reading) are available at (at the moment slightly outdated, I will update before each lecture).

Requirements to the exam -
Last update: Mgr. Martin Fikáček, Ph.D. (07.08.2016)

Combination of written and oral. It will start with a written test, when the student will pass that successfully, he/she will be allowed for oral part. Oral part will be a discussion in the extent of the lectures. Exam is in English for foreign students, and in English or Czech for Czech students.

Syllabus -
Last update: Mgr. Martin Fikáček, Ph.D. (07.08.2016)

Evolution of the insect diversity in the past
Diversity of insects today
Morphological diversity of the insects and its reasons
Speciation, species-concepts and biogeographic issues of selected insect groups
Genetic diversity of the insects
Coevolution as the reason for high insect diversity
How to study insect diversity: "classic" taxonomy and its pros and cons
How to study insect diversity: modern methods and examples of their use
Conservation of insect diversity in theory and praxis
The importance of insect diversity for humans.

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