Will students need to know kingdom, phylum, class, order and family?
My understanding was just order and family for each insect.
You are correct.Important note: Insect names can be confusing, exact, and problematic. For example, the earwig found in Washtenaw county is properly called both the Common Earwig and the European Earwig. Yet commonly, we would refer to the insect as an earwig. The supervisors of this event will take care to write questions and accept answers that require descriptive adjectives only when necessary to differentiate species (such as a Luna Moth and a Cecropia Moth) but will mostly focus on identifying insects by group.
What will the students need to know about each of the caterpillars of the moths and butterflies?
What they look like, preferential food source(if they are specific like Monarchs)
Will students need to know differences between males and females?
No, they can be very difficult to distinguish- except perhaps females with very obvious ovipositors as body parts
The Western Conifer Seed Bug is in the Coreidae family and there are many other common seed bugs which are found in the Lygaeidae family.
Will students need to know all the families for seed bugs and if not which families should they focus on?
The focus would be on the group, not family.
Same type of question with Stink bugs - the brown marmorated is invasive and seen as a pest but many stink bugs are seen as beneficial. Which ones should students focus on?
The focus would be on the group, not family. Knowing an example of an invasive, pest and
one beneficial stink bug would be nice.
There are three parts to the thorax - I'm wondering in what detail should students know about insect body parts. Should we be going into detail about the parts of the thorax with them?
Yes, and knowing the function of the different body parts (not just thorax, but mouthparts, wing and legs)
There are several different sphinx months and not much info at all in the guides. Can you give some additional information of what to concentrate on for the sphinx month?
Basics like size, activity, coloration- mostly to distinguish them from other moths.