Entomology is a branch of Zoology that deals with insects. In other words, insects are animals. They differ from other animals in that they have three body parts, a head, thorax, and abdomen, on which are found three pairs of jointed legs. The insects have external mouth parts and are covered by a tough, waterproof exoskeleton. Most have wings.
In the entire world, there are about one and a half million animal species described. Of this number, about one million are insects.
Insects are bees, beetles, and butterflies. They are froghoppers, firebrats, and flies. They are also midges, moths, and mayflies. And there are more, so many more. Insects can be found in every type of habitat. From the Arctic to the Antarctic, treehole to tree canopy they occupy every land niche.
They are essential to our well-being. Insects are plant pollinators, scavengers eating decaying debris, a source of medicine, recyclers of nutrients, a source of food for other animals and even some plants. Many are aesthetically pleasing and all are a source of wonder in their architecture and engineering feats.
Entomologists continue to gather facts about these animals. Entomologists work in areas such as beekeeping; insect diseases; pest control; the effects of pesticides on insects, birds, and mammals; and classification and teaching; and in such areas of biological research as life history, ecology, behavior, physiology, and morphology.
Illinois Endangered and Threatened Insects - Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board
Illinois Insects - Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources
The InsectWeb Server - insect databases and information; managed by the Section for Economic Entomology.
Most INHS insect-realted research is listed in our Annual Reports.
Some past articles published in INHS Reports:
Soybean Aphids and the Search for Natural Enemies. Winter 2002
The Endangered Hine's Emerald Dragonfly. Autumn 2001
Species Spotlight: Fireflies. Autumn 2001
The Spread of the Gypsy Moth. Summer 2001
Illinois River Valley Ticks. Fall 2000
Plant Stress--Its Relationship to Arthropod Pests in Urban Landscapes. March-April 2000
Insect Invaders Infest Chicago Trees. March-April 2000
Influence of Intercropping and Trap Cropping on Diamondback Moth and Its Natural Enemies. January-February 2000
Species Spotlight: Monarch Butterfly. September-October 1999
Monitoring the Spread of Western Corn Rootworm Beetles Infesting Illinois Soybean Fields. January-February 1999
Good Beetle, Bad Plant. November-December 1998
The Beetle That Tried to Steal Christmas. November-December 1998
Species Spotlight: Walking Stick. July-August 1998
Western Corn Rootworm Flight Activity in Soybeans. March-April 1998
Lyme Disease Alert. March-April 1998
Insects and Fire: Too Much of a Good Thing?. January-February 1998
Mayflies, Stoneflies, and Caddisflies Help Researchers Track Water Quality. November-December 1997
Gypsy Moth in the Chicago Area: Disaster for All of Moderate Problem for Some?. November-December 1997
Complex Life-cycle Puzzles. September-October 1997
Forage Crops (Integrated Pest Management). March-April 1997
European Corn Borer Management: Past and Present. January-February 1997
Microbial Larvicides in Mosquito Control. November-December 1996
Using Biological Control to Lose Loosestrife in Illinois. September-October 1996
Using Natural Enemies for Pest Control. July-August 1996
Species Spotlight: Cecropia Moth. July-August 1996
Rootworm Problems in First-year Corn: an Update. May-June 1996
Children in Biological Control Research. March-April 1996
Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis. January-February 1996
Identifying Specimens On-line. November-December 1995
Aphids and Disease Spread in Crops. November-December 1995
Pearly Eyes in Illinois. September-October 1995
Species Spotlight: Green Tiger Beetles. July-August 1995
New Version of an Old Classic. July-August 1995
Helicopter Captures Russian Wheat Aphids. May-June 1995
Western Corn Rootworm Problems. May-June 1995
Species Spotlight: Millipedes. May-June 1995
North Central Regional Committee on the Biological Control of Arthropods. March-April 1995
Habitat Partitioning by Therevids at Sand Ridge State Forest. January-February 1995
Corn Rootworm Injury: Reducing Prophylactic Soil Insecticide Treatments. January-February 1995
Selected Sites Outside INHS Webspace
Digital Dragonfly Museum from the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in Stephenville, Texas. Part of Texas A+M University.
For more information, see the INHS Insect Collection Page