GARY N. DODSON, Ph.D.        

Curator - BSU Insect Collection




Educational Background

University of New Mexico, Ph.D. 1985
University of Florida, M.S. 1978
University of Tennessee, B.S. 1976

General Research & Interest Areas

My research program has been shaped primarily by my interests in animal behavior and ecology. While couching my projects within the framework of behavioral ecology theory, I have concentrated on insects and spiders for my study organisms because of the many advantages they provide in hypothesis testing. Invertebrates and their environments are desirable as subjects because of their great ecological diversity and relative ease of manipulation. The diversity, even within closely related groups, along with the potential for rearing and observing under controlled conditions, allows for comparative approaches often not available with other animals. The rapid generation times of most insects and spiders provides a more reasonable time frame for addressing evolutionary questions. It also provides the opportunity to examine co-evolutionary processes between insects and other rapid propagators, like some plants.

  My recent studies have involved antler flies in Australasian rainforests, hilltopping insects in eastern Australia and crab spiders in Indiana.  A summary of these research efforts and more can be viewed by going to my research page.

Graduate and undergraduate students working with me have studied insects, spiders, birds, and frogs.  Persons interested in graduate research involving questions in behavioral ecology may contact me.

I also serve as Curator for the Ball State University Insect CollectionClick here for the most recent listing of specimens found in our collection.  Contact me if you have an interest in accessing any of our specimens.

Courses Currently Teaching

Selected Publications

Yeates, D. K. and G. Dodson. 1990. The mating system of a bee fly. 1. Nonresource-based hilltop territoriality and a resource-based alternative. J. Insect Behavior 3:603-617.

Dodson, G. and D. K. Yeates. 1990. The mating system of a bee fly. 2. Factors affecting individual male success. J. Insect Behavior 3:619-636.

Dodson, G. 1991. Control of gall morphology: tephritid gall-formers (Aciurina spp.) on rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus). Ecol. Entomol. 16:177-181.

Sivinski, J. and G. Dodson. 1992. Sexual dimorphism in Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) and other tephritid fruit flies: possible roles of developmental rate, fecundity, and dispersal. J. Insect Behavior 5:491-506.

Dodson, G. and M. Beck. 1993. Precopulatory guarding of penultimate females by male crab spiders, Misumenoides formosipes. Animal Behaviour 46:951-959.

Hastings, J. M., G. N. Dodson, and J. L. Heckman. 1994. Male perch selection and the mating system of the robber fly Promachus albifacies Williston. J. Insect Behavior 7:829-841

Pollard, S. D., M. W. Beck, and G. N. Dodson. 1995. Why do male crab spiders drink nectar? Animal Behaviour 49:1443-1448.

Wilkinson, G. and G. N. Dodson. 1997. Function and evolution of antlers and eye stalks in flies. Pp 310-328. In: The Evolution of Mating Systems in Insects and Arachnids. Choe, J.C. and B.J. Crespi (eds.). Cambridge University Press.

Dodson, G. N. 1997. The resource defense mating system of antlered flies, Phytalmia spp. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 90: 496-504.

McClintock, W. J. and G. N. Dodson. 1999. Notes on Cyclosa insulana (Araneae; Araneidae) of Papua New Guinea.  Journal of Arachnology 27: 685-688.

Dodson, G. N.  2000. Behavior of the Phytalmiinae and the evolution of antlers in tephritid flies.   Pp. 175-184 In: Fruit flies (Tephritidae): Phylogeny and Evolution of Behavior. Aluja, M. and A. Norrbom (eds.). CRC Press.

Sivinski, J., Aluja, M., Dodson, G., Freidberg, A., Headrick, D., Kaneshiro, K., and  Landolt, P. 2000. Topics in the Evolution of Sexual Behavior in the Tephritidae. Pp. 751-792.  In: Fruit flies (Tephritidae): Phylogeny and Evolution of Behavior. Aluja, M. and A. Norrbom (eds.). CRC Press.

Dodson, G. N. and A. T. Schwaab. 2001 Body size, leg autotomy, and prior experience as factors in the fighting success of male crab spiders, Misumenoides formosipes. Journal of Insect Biology 14:841-855.

Dodson, G. N. 2005   A test of fluctuating asymmetry as a bioindicator of stress in antlered flies  Pacific Conservation Biology 11:121-125. 

Schutze, M.K., Yeates, D.K., Graham, G.C. and Dodson, G. 2007. Phylogenetic relationships of antlered flies, Phytalmia Gerstaecker (Diptera:Tephritidae): the evolution of antler shape and mating behaviour. Australian Journal of Entomology 46: 281 - 293

Alcock, J. and Dodson, G. 2008. The diverse mating systems of hilltopping insects. American Entomologist  54 (2): 80 87.

Stellwag, L. and Dodson, G. N.  2010  Navigation by male crab spiders MIsumenoides formosipes (Araneae: Thomisidae): floral cues may aid in locating potential mates.  Journal of Insect Behavior  23: 226 335.