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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for HYM Course?
Complete the application form and ask someone familiar with you and your interest in HYM Course to write a letter in support of your application. Applications and letters of support should be sent Dr. Matt Buffington, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, MRC 168, Washington DC, 20013-7012, U.S.A. Telephone: 202-633-4552. Email: Applications and letters of support are due April 15, 2018.

How do I pay for HYM Course?
Participants must pay tuition for the course, as well as meals and lodging for eight nights at TESRI, to the Entomological Society of Washington by June 1, 2018. Tuition covers the cost of holding the course.

Costs for the next HYM Course
Meals and lodging = US$400; paid to TESRI (cash)
Tuition = US$500; paid to the Entomological Society of Washington

Payment to ESW must be made in U.S. dollars. Checks drawn on a U.S. bank or money orders or cashier's checks (international/domestic) should be made payable to Entomological Society of Washington and mailed to: 8305 Mary Lee Lane, Laurel, MD 20723, U.S.A. If payment via personal check or cashier's check is difficult, contact the ESW Treasurer via email ( or to arrange payment via bank-to-bank electronic funds transfer. Payment to TESRI can be maid upon arrival at TESRI.

What is TESRI/Chichi like?
TESRI is located in Chichi, an amazing village some ~100km E of Taichung on the western escarpment of the main mountain range along the spine of Taiwan. The climate in Chichi is sub-tropical, high elevation forest. The course is being held in the rainy season, but there will be plenty of sunny days for fieldwork and local field trips. Forest cover ranges from extremely dense to moderately disturbed. TESRI has its own botanical garden adjacent to the laboratory, making for quick and easy access to field sites.

How do I get to TESRI/Chichi?
Travel from Taipei to Taichung is straightforward via an advanced rail network; from Taichung it is some 90 min to Chichi. There are several options for getting from Taichung to Chichi (, including a shuttle bus contracted by Hym Course. Pick up times will be scheduled in June and attendees notified.

How do I return home from Chichi?
HYM Course will provide van shuttle service from Chichi to Taichung, where trains will take participants to other destinations in Taiwan. Drop off times will be scheduled in June and attendees notified.

What do I need to do to prepare for HYM Course?
Preparation for the course is not required. However, acquiring and reading introductory portions of the recommended texts on the "Home" tab of this website, especially Hymenoptera of the World (Goulet and Huber 1993), would be helpful for individuals with little or no entomological background.

Other general references that students might find useful (excluding those on the "Home" tab of this website).
  • Askew, R. R. Parasitic Insects. American Elsevier Publishing Company, Inc., New York. 316 pp.

  • Clausen, C. P. Entomophagous Insects. Hafner Publishing Co., Inc., New York. v-x+688 pp.

  • Gauld, I. and B. Bolton. 1988. The Hymenoptera. Oxford University Press, New York. v-xi+332 pp.

  • Godfray, H. C. J. 1994. Parasitoids: Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology. Princeton University Press, Princeton. i-ix+473 pp.

  • Hanson, P. E. and I. D. Gauld. 1995. The Hymenoptera of Costa Rica. Oxford University Press, New York. i-xx+893 pp.

  • Hölldobler, R. and E. O. Wilson. 1990. The Ants. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge. i-xii+773 pp.

  • LaSalle, J. and I. D. Gauld. 1993. Hymenoptera and Biodiversity. CAB International, Wallingford. i-xi+348 pp.

  • Michener, C. D. The Bees of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. i-xiv+913 pp.

  • O'Neil, K. M. 2001. Solitary Wasps. Behavior and Natural History. Cornell University Press, Ithaca. i-xiii+406 pp.

  • Quicke, D. L. J. 1997. Parasitic Wasps. Chapman & Hall, London. i-xvii+470 pp.

  • Quicke, D. L. J. 2014. The Braconid and Ichneumonid Parasitoid Wasps: Biology, Systematics, Evolution and Ecology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester. 704 pp.

  • Raman, A., C. W. Schaefer, and T. M. Withers. Biology, Ecology, and Evolution of Gall-Inducing Arthropods. Volume 2. Science Publishers, Inc., Enfield. i-xviii+817 pp.

  • Shaw, M. R. and T. Huddleston. 1991. Classification and biology of the braconid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects 7: 1-126.
What taxa are covered in HYM Course?
The following taxa are covered in HYM Course. Coverage for each taxon is at the family-level unless noted in parentheses. Chalcidoidea (subfamily for most), Mymarommatoidea, Ceraphronoidea, Cynipoidea (subfamily and lower), Platygastroidea, Proctotrupoidea, Apoidea, Chrysidoidea, Vespoidea (subfamily for ants), Ichneumonoidea (subfamily), Evanioidea, Megalyroidea, Stephanoidea, Trigonalyoidea, and Symphyta.

What do I need to bring to HYM Course?
TESRI will provide bedding and towels. Individuals who have certain supplies of their own are encouraged to bring them. This is especially true with regard to items such as the recommended texts (see "Home" tab of this website), particularly Hymenoptera of the World, insect nets, aspirators, fine forceps, and specimen manipulators. Students are welcome to bring specimens from their projects (preferably dehydrated and mounted) to consult with the instructors on identification as time permits

The following supplies will be available to all students for use during the course.
Kill jars
Insect pins (#2 & #3)
Point punch, heavy-weight archival paper (e.g., bristol board), and glue for point and card-mounting small specimens
Pinning blocks
Specimen manipulators
Fine forceps
Ethanol for specimen preservation
Gelatin capsules
Insect storage boxes
Label Paper
Indelible ink pens

The following items are things that you are expected to bring.
Notebook for course lectures, labs, and symposium
Pens or pencils
Field notebook [pocket-sized notebook]
Flashlight or headlamp (for nocturnal collecting and walking safely at night)
Coat or jacket
Field clothes (i.e., clothing for which you do not care if it gets wet, stained, or torn)
Sturdy boots or shoes for the field (i.e., footwear for which you do not care if it gets wet, stained, or torn)
Sun block
Alarm clock
Canteen or water bottle
Collecting bag or backpack to carry gear in the field
Paper and zip-top storage bags to collect materials for rearing
Insect repellant (or treat field clothing, at least one set, with a permethrin soak)

The following items are things that you might consider bringing.
Large towel
Swiss Army knife or Leatherman multi-tool
Hand lens

Can I keep the specimens I collect during HYM Course?
Yes. Permits will be organized by the instructors prior to your arrival. Pinned specimens or specimens in vials should be placed in checked baggage. Alcohol should be drained from vials so that only the specimens remain in the vials. Participants interested in keeping the specimens they collect will be given a letter explaining what the material is and that it can be taken out of Taiwan.

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