Connected on 2009-09-11 10:00:00 from Bozeman, Mt, US
- Bugscope Team HOORAY!!!
- Bugscope Team annie!
- Bugscope Team what's up coolie!
- Bugscope Team Spider!
- Bugscope Team presets are done, we are ready!
- Bugscope Team session is unlocked
- Bugscope Team These neighbors have similarly small lawns. People in California just want to use gasoline all the time. These same people have giant shiny American trucks on lift kits.
- Bugscope Team Good morning!
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Bugscope Team You may drive whenever you want.
- Bugscope Team And let us know when you have questions. That's what we're here for.
- Bugscope Team Cate put a nice sample together and made some cool presets to help you get started.
- Bugscope Team we included the following "insects" for you today: 2 beetles, 1 true bug, 1 leafhopper, 1 spider, 1 male mosquito, 1 wasp, and 1 rolypoly
- Bugscope Team Bug Watcher let us know if you have any problems.
- Bugscope Team If you all have any questions about specimens that didn't make it onto today's stub, you can ask those questions as well. I know you all were interested in learning about ticks.
- Bugscope Team hello questioners!
- Bugscope Team Hello Questioners?
- Bugscope Team welcome to bugscope
- Teacher Hi we are here! We are a group of about 80 7th graders - half of us are here right now!
- Bugscope Team wow big group!
- Bugscope Team cool, well, welcome to bugscope
- Bugscope Team bug watcher, you have control of the scope now, feel free to drive around, and ask any questions
- Bugscope Team Wow. Feel free to cruise around, and let us when you, y'know, have, like, questions.
- Teacher Why is it in black and white
Bugscope Team the microscope doesn't use light to get the image, it uses electrons instead. since color is a function of light (the frequency) and since the scope doesn't see light, that's why no color
- Bugscope Team this is one of the palps at the edge of one of the jaws
- Teacher what is the hair?
Bugscope Team those hairs are called "setae" (see-tee) and they help insects to sense their environment. insects have TONS of setae all over them. they are like cat whiskers in a way.
- Teacher What are the spikes
- Bugscope Team the samples we are looking at are inside a vacuum chamber, and we are beaming electrons at them. the images come from the electrons that are knocked out of the sample surfaces.
- Bugscope Team the deal with insects is that they have exoskeletons -- their 'bones' would be on the outside of the body, unlike ours
- Bugscope Team it's like if you were wearing a suit of armor -- you would have an exoskeleton
- Bugscope Team The spikes and hairs stick out of the exoskeleton, and connect with the insects nervous system. The hairs help the insect to feel what is going on outside.
- Bugscope Team insects don't have skin like we do. instead they have a hard exoskeleton, and that exoskeleton can't feel things. so that's why they need those setae, which stick through the exoskeleton to nerves underneath, that's how they feel things...
- Bugscope Team this is the spider's jaws!
- Teacher what kind of spider
- Teacher what are we looking at on the spider/
- Bugscope Team the things in front were the fangs
- Bugscope Team we don't know what kind of spider it is -- it was dead on the floor the other day, a little dried out
- Bugscope Team now you can see the fangs
- Bugscope Team spiders have soft bodies, and they shrvel when they die; it is often hard for us to tell what kind of spider it was
- Teacher why do spiders have so many eyes
- Bugscope Team some of the setae (hairs) can be mechanosensory (feel movement), other setae can be chemosensory (sense chemicals and smells), and even others can be sticky, or have attraction properties like tenent setae do. (help insects climb walls)
- Bugscope Team probably helps them have a little better peripheral vision, and also lets them sense motion more easily.
- Bugscope Team this is a boy skeeter
- Teacher how can you tell it is a male?
Bugscope Team males have ornate antennae, and their mouthparts are different
- Teacher why are the antenna hair
Bugscope Team The little hairs on the antennae are used to sense very very delicate sound vibrations. That is one of the ways that male mosquitos locate females.
- Bugscope Team Some of the spider's eyes probably also sense things like day length and time of day.
- Teacher tell us about the mouthpart
Bugscope Team The biting portion of the female mosquito is inside the proboscis, which is like a sheath.
- Teacher why are thier eyes so big?
Bugscope Team well, those eyes are compound eyes, each bump is a unique eye called an ommatidia, and each one has a lens in it. the compound eye is made up of hundreds of these ommatidia, which help the spider to see it's environment, find food, sense movement, etc.
- Teacher How big are the hair on the antennae
Bugscope Team They are very small, in "real life" they look like fuzz.
- Teacher why are the eyes indented?
Bugscope Team Insects dry out once they die so they end up all shriveled or shrunken usually
- Bugscope Team in the insect world, it's all about surviving, what the next meal is going to be, etc. so anything that aids in that survival will probably find it's way onto the insect
- Teacher any driving suggestions for me - I'm having trouble moving around with my mouse
Bugscope Team we could drive for you if you prefer? although it seems like you are doing a good job!
- Bugscope Team inside the sheath is a set of mouthparts that are closely appressed, like a bundle that includes a tube and four cutting laciniae
- Bugscope Team it can be tough controlling the microscope from a computer, especially if the internet speed lags the browser image some
- Bugscope Team the tube injects a little saliva, from one narrow channel, and pulls blood in through a channel with a larger bore, or larger internal diameter
- Teacher Why is the polen spike
Bugscope Team The pollen is spikey so that it sticks to things...like hairs on little insects. The insects move the pollen around, from plant to plant--which is good for the plant since plants have a hard time walking around.
- Teacher what do they use the claws for?
Bugscope Team to hold onto food, or grab something they need to move, it's a multi-function device... :)
- Teacher why do the claws have creases on them?
Bugscope Team some claws do not have obvious creases, and some do. As Cate says they may help with gripping. Note also that something that is fluted like that is naturally stronger than something smooth.
- Teacher can you tell us abougt the bright spots on the pollen
- Bugscope Team pollen are more useful if they stick to their target in the flower, so if they are spikey, that helps them stick
- Bugscope Team i think they will clean themselves with claws as well?
Bugscope Team Yup, claws are for cleaning too. They are like a Swiss army knife.
- Bugscope Team the claw has texture to help it grab onto things
- Teacher what are we looking at
Bugscope Team this, now, is the abdomen of this beetle
- Bugscope Team now we see the leafhopper, so very cute, in a way
- Teacher are we looking into its mouth
Bugscope Team you are near the mouth. this insect has a tube that it uses to feed through, so it doesn't have our kind of mouth
- Teacher Why is the hopper so hairy
Bugscope Team all insects have lots of hairs (setae), then help them feel their way around the world
- Teacher how many mouth parts does it have?
Bugscope Team Insects generally have about 10 mouthparts total, depending on what you want to consider a mouthpart--but there are lots of modifications, especially in leafhoppers with have all their mouthparts modified into a tube that they use to suck plant juices.
- Teacher are we looking at plaque?
Bugscope Team sometimes when bugs die, hemolymph, which is their 'blood,' comes out and dries
- Teacher we see a tiny hole on our left side of the mouth - ?
Bugscope Team what is interesting is that we don't always know just what we are seeing -- sometimes people have not looked closely at every insect and have not yet named everything you see using an electron microscope -- or they have and very few people know it
- Teacher are there setae on the eye as well
Bugscope Team yes there are! on fruitflies you will see lots of them, and on bees
- Bugscope Team see how the center of the head is ribbed? that is like the base of the pumping apparatus that allows the leafhopper to suck up plant juices
- Teacher can you tell us about each facet of the compound eye
Bugscope Team each facet is called an ommatidia, with a lens in it. the facet is stationary, and the lens can't move around in the facet like human eye's can. so that's why they have some many facets pointed in a 180 degree area, so they can have side vision
- Teacher How big are the segments of the eye
Bugscope Team check out the scale bar on the lower left of the image, if you zoom in on an ommatidia, you can measure it's size
- Bugscope Team The setae on the eye helps the bee or fly to sense direction and "steer" in the wind. If you shave the hairs off, the insect can't figure out which way to go when they are flying into the wind.
- Bugscope Team one um = one micron = one millionth of a meter
- Teacher are we seeing dust on the eyes as well?
Bugscope Team yes!
- Bugscope Team if you click on the scalebar you will see the magnification, as well
- Teacher Do they have noses
Bugscope Team good question! but no, they don't have noses. they smell through the hairs!!! some of the hairs are chemosensory setae, and they use those to smell
- Teacher how many segments are there on the eye?
Bugscope Team it depends; some insects may have a few thousand individual facets, or ommatidia
Bugscope Team depends on the insect, sometimes we see just 20-30. flying insects usually have a lot more, even in the thousands!
- Teacher what sense do the use most
- Teacher what is the roly-polys main diet?
Bugscope Team They eat rotting stuff, fungus, bacteria, etc.
- Teacher rolly polly bugs - not insects? how many legs? where are the eyes?
Bugscope Team roly poly's are crustaceans, like crabs
- Teacher what is the line we are looking at
Bugscope Team I think that is a crease than runs down the middle of that portion of the mouthpart
- Bugscope Team We usually mount insects/arthropods like them on the dorsal side so we can see the legs
- Teacher does the roly-poly have fangs?
Bugscope Team not like a spider -- it has jaws but not fangs that would inject anything
- Teacher what type of beetle we are looking at?
- Teacher do beetles bite
Bugscope Team Most will try to bite, but they can't because you are too big and they are too small. It is like trying to take a bite out of the wall.
- Teacher why all the hairs in the beetles mouth
Bugscope Team hairs, or setae, at the surface of the mouth may have more of a filtering function, preventing sand or tiny particles from getting into the mouth
- Teacher Do ladybugs bite people?
Bugscope Team Yes, if a ladybug lands on a part of your body with softish skin (like your neck or parts of your arm) they can bite. It kind of feels like a little pin prick. The Asian multicolored ladybeetle is a notorious biter.
- Teacher can it only feel stuff in its antennae or can it feel on the rest of its body
Bugscope Team if we look around we see that there are mechanosensory setae on most body parts
- Bugscope Team Nice!
- Teacher how do kill the bugs
Bugscope Team if we get them live here, or at home, we freeze them
- Bugscope Team yeah that is so cool-looking, uncommon
- Teacher how do ticks get under the skin?
- Teacher why do the antennae look to have separated discs
- Bugscope Team but we don't know, I am sorry, just what beetle this is
- Teacher what is the stuff that grasshoppers spit?
Bugscope Team It is kind of like puke...they regurgitate it from their crop, which is at the top of its stomach.
- Bugscope Team If we zoom out a bit and sort of hover above the beetle, I might be able to tell what it is. The antenna gives me some clues.
- Bugscope Team Annie is our entomologist.
- Bugscope Team I am an electron microscopist, and Alex is our computer whiz.
- Bugscope Team What color was this beetle before it became golden?
Bugscope Team Annie I am not sure. Brown?
- Bugscope Team Cate is also an electron microscopist.
- Bugscope Team Cate made the sample and is out for a little while.
- Teacher How many joints does the average bug have?
- Bugscope Team I was afraid you'd say brown.
Bugscope Team sorry -- maybe reddish-brown? ;)
- Teacher what is black spot we are looking at
Bugscope Team The black circle is where this insect was once pinned. This specimen was donated from an entomology class collection
- Bugscope Team haha.
- Bugscope Team ouch!
- Bugscope Team I am stumped on the identity of the beetle. Maybe it will come to me.
- Teacher these students are creating insect collections here in Montana right now......they feel the beetle's pain
Bugscope Team Hahah! You are getting an advanced start on your entomology careers!
- Bugscope Team cool! not the pain part though
- Teacher why moth scales in beetle claw
Bugscope Team it was probably collected with some other insects, including a moth or butterfly
- Bugscope Team we can guess, from the way the tarsi look, that this beetle could not walk on a window
- Teacher we are very curious about ticks - a big thing here in Montana - can you tell us about how they imbed in our skin
Bugscope Team ticks have a head capsule called a capitulum, and on either side are palps that fold down so that the mouthparts can penetrate your skin
- Teacher why do moths have scales
Bugscope Team Generally speaking, a moths scales are for protection. If you have every tried to catch a moth with your hands you know how slippery they are. They are slippery because of those scales, which easily rub off when the moth is touched. The slippery scales also help the moth escape from spider webs and the mouths of birds.
- Teacher why are mothes attracted to light
Bugscope Team the true reason is unknown but there are theories. one theory is they use a technique called celestial navigation to help them fly strait
- Teacher why can't you feel the tick get uder your skin?
Bugscope Team I believe some of them at least have an anesthetizing saliva
- Bugscope Team the mouthparts have a side with recurved spines on it that holds into the skin, and the other side has smaller spines of spikes that rasp the skin to cut it and get blood flowing
- Teacher insects are so cool!
- Bugscope Team no doubt!
- Teacher hw
- Teacher what is the biggest type of beetle?
Bugscope Team The largest beetle in the world is called the Titan beetle. It is found in the Amazon and can be more than 13 cm long.
- Teacher good job thank you
- Teacher mason says hi!
- Teacher one of our groups is leaving and the other half is coming in - there will be a slight delay in questions. these kids alls say thank you! and "this is so cool!" and they want to know your personal favoirte types of bug
- Teacher when did you know you wanted to become a scientist and why?
Bugscope Team I always liked to be outside in the dirt. When I got older, in high school, I realized that I was really good at biology and that I really enjoyed it and that I could make it my job. I knew I wanted to be an entomologist when I was a senior in high school
- Bugscope Team thank you, you all did great!
- Bugscope Team we are ready for the next batch of kids anytime... :)
- Teacher how did you become an entomologist
Bugscope Team I got a degree in biology for my undergrad, then I went to graduate school and got a masters and a PhD in entomology.
- Teacher cool! we have many budding scinetists here. We currenlty have a pine beetle problem in Montana - aand are studying them in science class
Bugscope Team yes, I study wood boring insects as well...not the bark beetle types, the longhorned beetle types.
- Bugscope Team I started out in English and ended up with a double major in English and Biology. I started to learn electron microscopy in my last year of college. Then I hung around with herpetologists, but I met some entomologists as well.
- Teacher is it only the male mosquito that has fluffy antennae? is the purpose for finding a female?
Bugscope Team One thing about the ornate antennae is that they make a noise the females recognize.
- Teacher cool have scientists recorded these sounds?
Bugscope Team i'm sure they have, but i don't know for sure. i looked online a bit, and didn't find that exact sound, but i found a neat page with tons of other sounds from insects: http://www.ars.usda.gov/pandp/docs.htm?docid=10919
- Bugscope Team they make a distinct noise when the air goes through them; they also look pretty and presumably that is an attractive feature as well.
- Teacher what do male mosquitos eat? it looks like thye have a piercing mouthpart - but we thought they didn't eat blood
Bugscope Team they do not drink blood; it hasbeen said that they drink nectar -- plant juices
- Bugscope Team I am a little confused about this, but I believe that the females have an organ in their antennae called a Johnston's organ that helps them hear better, including the sound of the male antennae
- Teacher We're looking at the eyes... do the insects see in black and white?
Bugscope Team likely some of them do see sort of primitively, but many do see in color. not only in color but in the UV as well, which we cannot
- Bugscope Team the ommatidia are dried, a bit
- Teacher is that why they are wrinkly
- Bugscope Team normally they would be kind of swollen and round
- Bugscope Team yep
- Bugscope Team notice the scale bar in the lower left
- Bugscope Team if you had compound eyes you would see many images; you would also have a very acute ability to perceive motion
- Bugscope Team one um = one micrometer (micron) = one millionth of a meter... wow!
- Bugscope Team compound eyes are also a good way of extending one's vision more peripherally -- closer to 3D -- all around your head
- Bugscope Team these ommatidia are pretty big, right scott? i don't think i remember them being 23 microns...?
- Bugscope Team we see a hexagonal shape quite often because it is the best way to close pack things that are rounded, and it is also a good way to pack round things that will have a curved surface.
- Teacher Why do these "fangs " appear hairy?
Bugscope Team the fangs themselves are not hairy, but the chelicers are
- Bugscope Team I think those are larger that most ommatidia we see -- but we can now compare that diameter with those of the wasp
- Teacher are those all eyes? how many approx?
Bugscope Team spiders have 8 eyes. They are mostly covered up right now by dried goop of some sort. The background is carbon tape that is bubbly looking
- Bugscope Team those are bubbles in the carbon tape
- Teacher What are chelicers?
Bugscope Team they are mouth parts of a spider, used to manipulate food
- Bugscope Team we cannot see the eight eyes from this perspective
- Bugscope Team those are the two vertical components we see now in the middle
- Teacher What is their purpose?
Bugscope Team the chelicers open and drive the fangs into you
- Bugscope Team the fangs point toward each other and are almost off-screen now
- Teacher do you know the kind of spider?
Bugscope Team no I am sorry -- we are not very good at spiders
- Teacher are the fangs hollow
Bugscope Team yes they have ducts inside that deliver venom and also suck out insect innards
- Bugscope Team you are doing a great job of controlling the scope bug watcher!
- Teacher i'm finally getting the hang of it
- Bugscope Team There is one building on campus that is apparetly infested with recluse spiders. But it is far from here.
- Teacher any idea what is stuck on this hair?
Bugscope Team frass?
- Bugscope Team hmm, dirt, smudge, or as well call it.... juju
- Teacher How big is the whole spider?
- Bugscope Team because of its rounded shape, this may be frass, what entomologists call poop.
- Bugscope Team the spider would have been maybe 2 or 3 cm in diameter with its legs spread out
- Teacher where are leaf hopper's eyes
Bugscope Team you can see them -- they are like smooth domes on the side of the head
Bugscope Team see the ridged part of the head? There is an eye to the left of it. It is very big and you can only just tell its roundness.
- Bugscope Team there!
- Bugscope Team the eye has those bits of fungus that look like hair on it
- Bugscope Team see it now?
- Teacher OOwhat a coll looking bug! what are the little ridges on its head
Bugscope Team I believe the ridges are part of the pump apparatus that pulls the plant juices up through the proboscis]
- Teacher why are they eyes so big
- Teacher what do leafhoppers eat?
Bugscope Team they feed on sap and plant juices that they obtain using their piercing mouthparts
- Teacher do they bite?
Bugscope Team I'm not entirely sure, but one jumped on me over the summer and it felt like it bit me
- Teacher why is it called a leaf hopper
- Teacher do you know the order?
Bugscope Team Cicadellidae
- Teacher are those like little grabbers?
- Teacher is this the sharp piercing part on the bottom of the proboscis
Bugscope Team yes that's it!
- Bugscope Team you can see the tip of the proboscis there --
- Bugscope Team yes
- Teacher What type of environment do these live in?
Bugscope Team they feed on leaves on plants, so they are often found in plant areas all over the world, they are a huge family of insect
- Bugscope Team Cate reminded me that the order is Hemiptera -- true bugs.
- Bugscope Team I guess Cicadellidae is the family, sorry.
- Teacher Do we know if this is a male or female?
Bugscope Team we don't know -- with some insects you can tell right away, and with some you cannot tell until you open them up
- Bugscope Team hey nice!
- Bugscope Team good job driving!
- Teacher how big is the leafhopper
Bugscope Team it is maybe 8 or 9 mm long
- Teacher cool look how sharp it is!
- Bugscope Team here is a wasp, looking at the underside of the head
- Bugscope Team see the big curved jaws?
- Teacher What are the appedages that seem to be folded across its head horizontally?
- Teacher why is the wasp head so hairy
- Bugscope Team ha those are the jaws
- Bugscope Team the other appendages are palps, which there are usually four of. The palps help the insect manipulate and taste its food.
- Teacher is this the stinger
- Teacher what are the ridge things on the wing
- Teacher Can these guys see behind them... perhaps prey closing in for the delicious kill?
Bugscope Team they have good peripheral vision
- Bugscope Team You found the hamuli!
- Teacher Do they have teeth?
Bugscope Team they do not have teeth, but some jaws are hardened with calcium
- Bugscope Team ah, yes, hamuli!
- Bugscope Team a lot of flying insects have a total of 5 eyes. 2 compound eyes and 3 simple eyes called ocelli
- Teacher the students are clamoring for a more descriptive word than "good"
- Bugscope Team their compound eyes will seem to wrap around their heads giving them an almost 360 degree view arou d them
- Bugscope Team the hamuli you found on the edge of the wing are little clips that let two wings function like one
- Bugscope Team bees and wasps have hamuli -- they have four wings and have found that it is more efficient to fly with, essentially, two
- Bugscope Team so they clip their fore- and hindwings together when they fly
- Teacher Do we have a sense for their speed in flight?
Bugscope Team fly's are not as fast as one would think, maybe 5 M.P.H top speed?
- Teacher great hamuli action
- Bugscope Team I pulled the focus in a little more
- Bugscope Team it'll show up on your Bugscope home page
- Bugscope Team not sure we can see the eyes on this rolypoly
- Teacher Which tastse better, roly poly leg or king crab leg?
Bugscope Team rolypolies are more crunchy -- you don't get to taste the meat
- Bugscope Team if you all collect earwigs, look for mites
- Teacher How many legs does the roly
Bugscope Team 18, or 28? Not sure I remember. We could count them.
- Teacher p
- Teacher are these setae - or are they more like spikes
Bugscope Team those were the tips of the little pointy legs, weren't they? that is why they are called isopods -- because all of their little feet are alike.
- Teacher how many legs does the roly poly have?
- Teacher YES!!
- Teacher Please!
- Bugscope Team this is the macro view
- Teacher Whoah! - all students!
- Bugscope Team that is a vacuum chamber in there, no air inside!
- Bugscope Team you can see the cone-shape, above, where the electrons come from, and you can see the little platter that the bugs are on -- it is 1.75 inches in diameter
- Bugscope Team to our right is the secondary electron detector
- Bugscope Team wow this is cool
- Bugscope Team now we are back on the secondary electron detector
- Bugscope Team it's a bunch of pollen grains
- Teacher what is so special about the hexagonal shape in nature - so cool!
Bugscope Team well, for a compound eye like this one, the hexagons help the shape of the entire eye to be curved, yet the sides of the ommatidia (hexagons) can still remain touching. if the ommatidia were square, then that wouldn't be possible.
- Bugscope Team now we can see that the diameters of the ommatidia are not that different from those of the mosquito, here.
- Teacher What color are the eyes?
Bugscope Team the eyes of the wasp appear black, or purplish black
- Teacher many eyes tdo they have
Bugscope Team they may have thousands of ommatida -- they have five eyes overall
- Teacher it stacked up ?
- Teacher one setae - cool pic
- Bugscope Team :)
- Teacher do beetles see in black and white
Bugscope Team I think most of them see in color
- Bugscope Team theres a bunch of microsetae around it
- Bugscope Team and some insects can see UV as well
- Teacher this is so cool! and fun
- Teacher Ok - we have to log out now to et kids to their next class. we walked to a local university to use their computer and high speed internet. thanks so much. We all loved it and kids were fired up! Thank YOU !!!!!!
- Bugscope Team we enjoy these nice sessions as well, it helps to have such a GREAT class!
- Bugscope Team thank you for using bugscope and we hope you all had fun
- Teacher I'm looking forward to printing off our session and discussing all that we've learned further
Bugscope Team yep, check out your member page for all the chat and images: http://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2009-102
- Bugscope Team Thank You!
- Bugscope Team all the chat and images are saved to your bugscope member page: http://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/member/2009-102
- Teacher Logging out Thank you agian!
- Bugscope Team over and out -- I want to beat the nerds to the food
- Bugscope Team nice session everyone. over and out