Introduction to Insect Identification: The Good, the Bad, and the Buggy

John Meyer, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, Department of Entomology, NC State University

Tuesdays, March 14 through April 11, 2017 – 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

What's on the leaf of your azalea? Are you curious about those grubs in your compost bin? Is there a striped caterpillar eating your parsley? Learning to recognize and identify the insects in your garden can be a daunting task—there are over a million described species and at least that many undescribed ones! This course will help you sort out all that diversity. It will focus on the major orders and families of garden insects, show you how to recognize members of the common groups, and help you distinguish between the good bugs and the bad bugs. Knowing what it is opens the door to a whole world of information about what it does and what to do about it. As an old Chinese proverb says, "The beginning of knowledge is getting things by their right name."


Course Schedule

March 14 – Orderly Insects -- Basic systematics, morphology, and development
March 21 – The Hemimetabola – Orthoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera
March 28 – Pollination Central – Diptera and Hymenoptera
April 4 – Beetlemania – Coleoptera by the boatload
April 11 – Lepidoptera – Butterflies and moths, oh my!

About John Meyer, Ph.D.

John Meyer grew up in Denver, Colorado, where, to his mother's dismay, he spent much of his childhood catching bugs in the vacant lot near his home. His youthful fascination with the world of insects led him to a B.S. in biology from the University of Illinois and an M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology from Cornell University. He joined the faculty of NC State University in 1978 where he has taught both undergraduate and graduate entomology courses for the past 35+ years. He is an Alumni Association Distinguished Undergraduate Professor and has received Outstanding Teaching awards from the College of Agriculture and the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America. He received the 2008–2009 Gertrude M. Cox Award for excellence in teaching with technology and was named Wake County Envirothon Mentor of the year in 2011.

In addition to his insect net, he also catches bugs with his camera. Many of his pictures can be found on an extensive Web site that he developed for teaching his course in general entomology at NC State. All of the course resources are publicly available online.

John Meyer

Adverse Weather

In the case a class is canceled due to adverse weather, class will meet on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

$150.00 for members, $185.00 for nonmembers.
Advance registration is required. Please register online using our registration e-store. Registration is limited to 24 people and is considered complete when payment is received.
Program cancellations can be made up to two weeks before the program's start date. A 15% cancellation fee applies.
Ruby C. McSwain Education Center, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Need directions? Click here.
Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum and along Beryl Road.
Please call (919) 513-7005 for more information about this course.