INSECTS are the most diverse lineage of animal life.  Documenting and understanding this diversity spatially and temporally is the principal focus of our group.  We undertake largely taxonomic investigations into living and fossil insect diversity and study the phylogenetic, biogeographic, and biological patterns among these groups.  Insects of all geological ages (Paleozoic to Quaternary) and geographic regions are of interest, but particularly Paleozoic diversity, Hymenoptera, Neuropterida (Neuroptera, Megaloptera, & Raphidioptera), Isoptera, Zoraptera, Dermaptera, Coleoptera, Mecoptera, Siphonaptera, Strepsiptera, Psocoptera, Hemiptera, Mantodea, Notoptera (Grylloblattodea & Mantophasmatodea), enigmatic Orthopterida (e.g., Chresmodidae), Odonata, Zygentoma, and Archaeognatha.  We are also interested in certain lineages of Arachnida, Onychophora, and Tardigrada.  We openly invite collaborative projects with other researchers and lab groups studying fossil Arthropoda. 
A secondary focus of the lab is the systematics of living and fossil bees (Apoidea: Anthophila), particularly monographic work on Halictidae and Apidae.  Again, we openly invite collaborative projects with researchers and labs working on the taxonomy of bees throughout the world. 
CHRYSOPIDAE Project Now Live: 
A special collaborative proposal funded by the National Science Foundation is supporting an integrated and interactive approach to understanding the evolution of green lacewings and building an ontology more broadly for Neuroptera.  We invite chrysopid workers worldwide to join us in our efforts to build a robust phylogeny and classification for these ancient, ethereally beautiful, behaviorally rich, and ecologically critical insects.  Let's work together to get this accomplished!

Division of Entomology (Paleoentomology)
1501 Crestline Drive - Suite 140
University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas 66045
Facsimile: (785) 864-5260 (Division of Entomology) 

Locations of visitors to this page

LATEST PUBLICATIONS: Check out our 'Publications' link for more articles.
Wappler, T., F. Grímsson, B. Wang, A. Nel, E. Ólafsson, A.A. Kotov, S.R. Davis, & M.S. Engel. 2014. Before the 'Big Chill': A preliminary overview of arthropods from the middle Miocene of Iceland (Insecta, Crustacea). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 401: 1-12.
Wang, B., J. Rust, M.S. Engel, J. Szwedo, S. Dutta, A. Nel, Y. Fan, F. Meng, G. Shi, E.A. Jarzembowski, T. Wappler, F. Stebner, Y. Fang, L. Mao, D. Zheng, & H. Zhang. 2014. A diverse paleobiota in Early Eocene Fushun amber from China. Current Biology 24(14): 1606-1610.
Engel, M.S., & N.P. Kristensen. 2013. A history of entomological classification. Annual Review of Entomology 58: 585-607.
Krishna, K., D.A. Grimaldi, V. Krishna, & M.S. Engel. 2013. Treatise on the Isoptera of the world. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 377: 1-2704.
LAB NEWS: Check out our 'Newsroom' for more announcements.

15 September 2014:
The discovery of Jurassic and Cretaceous species of carrion beetles (Silphidae) has provided insights into the origin and timing of parental care among these today endangered beetles.  This is the earliest evidence of parental care, a behavioral repertoire early in the development of social behavior.  The fossils reveal the appearance of the stridulatory files used in parent-offspring communication - present in the Cretaceous lineages but primitively absent in those from the Jurassic.  These fossils also reveal the origins of defense of small vertebrate carcasses for use by the larvae.  Such parental care may have originated from competition between carrion beetles and their predators, including diverse rove beetles.  These results were released today in PNAS (HERE).
Cai, C.-Y., M.K. Thayer, M.S. Engel, A.F. Newton, J. Ortega-Blanco, B. Wang, X.-D. Wang, & D.-Y. Huang. 2014. Early origin of parental care in Mesozoic carrion beetles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 111(39): 14170-14174.

25 April 2013:
The long-awaited Treatise on the Isoptera of the World was published today in seven volumes.  The work is the first to treat the entire living and fossil fauna of termites, with a consideration of the history of isopterology, the comparative morphology of termites, a review of their phylogeny and evolutionary history, summary of pest species, and revised suprageneric classification. It also includes a fully annotated and revised taxonomic catalog for the termites, living and extinct. 
Krishna, K., D.A. Grimaldi, V. Krishna, & M.S. Engel. 2013. Treatise on the Isoptera of the world. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 377: 1-2704.
Saudi Arabia - January 2015
Arizona - January 2015
Missouri - March 2015
Mexico? - May 2015