Connected on 2011-12-19 14:00:00 from El Paso, Colorado, United States
- Bugscope Team Hi Greg!
- Bugscope Team we are getting ready to do the presets
- Bugscope Team we're scheduled to work with you from 2 to 3 our time. does that still work for you?
- Teacher Hello, I think I'm in.
- Bugscope Team yes you are!
- Teacher So we'll start at 1:00?
Bugscope Team yes 1 your time. is that good for you?
- Teacher Great!
- Bugscope Team in the meantime you have an opportunity to preview the setup
- Teacher Okay, what do I do?
- Bugscope Team right now you don't need to do anything
- Bugscope Team once we hand control over to you you'll be able to select from any of the presets and also drive, when you want to
- Bugscope Team actually you could drive now but it would mess us up
- Bugscope Team Mr D you are now the Supreme Ruler
- Bugscope Team this is one of the housefly's spiracles
- Bugscope Team so you may drive whenever you'd like, and feel free to ask us questions
- Bugscope Team you may select from any of the presets on the lefthand screen, and you may also change the mag, etc., on the central screen
- Bugscope Team spiracles are what insects use to breathe
- Bugscope Team they are connected, on the inside, to tracheae that bring air to the internal organs
- Bugscope Team insects can open and close their spiracles
- Bugscope Team insects don't have nostrils or use their mouths to breath. They have these 'portholes' along their body to supply oxygen
- Bugscope Team the little hairs in the spiracle, which are setae (pronounced see-tee) help keep particles out. Like nose hairs
- Bugscope Team there are usually two spiracles per body segment, and they are usually to the sides
- Teacher How larege are they?
Bugscope Team if you look at the scalebar, to the lower left of the screen, you can see that this one has an opening about 20 micrometers (20 microns) in diameter
- Bugscope Team that is about 10 bacilli long. there are 1000 micrometers in a millimeter; a micrometer is one millionth of a meter
- Teacher What kind of diseases can flies carry?
- Teacher I have student questions: Can the EM catch bugs on fire?
Bugscope Team none yet. The samples are kept in a vacuum so there isn't enough oxygen to get any flames. Sometimes the beam will cause the surface of a material to bubble though
- Bugscope Team be sure to try other presets. and let us know if you have any trouble
- Bugscope Team as you can see wasps have large eyes as well that actually curve around their heads
- Bugscope Team flying insects in general have bigger eyes
- Teacher Why do flies have such large beady eyes?
Bugscope Team having large round eyes means that flies have very good peripheral vision; they don't have to turn their heads far to see all around them. also, those are compound eyes, made of hundreds to thousands of individual lenses, called ommatidia. with that many facets, the fly gets immediate updates on how its visual field is changing. so it is hard to catch them.
- Bugscope Team ground dwellers like this rolypoly will either have small eyes or no eyes at all because they just dont have a need for them underground
- Bugscope Team some insects see wavelengths of light we do not see. for example, moths, which can see in the ultraviolet.
- Teacher Why and how do they roll up/
Bugscope Team they are like armadillos. they curl up in defense. Their backs have plates on them like a suit of armor that allow them to roll up
- Teacher How long does it take to set up the EM?
Bugscope Team it takes us 45 minutes to take the sample we have already prepared for you and collect the presets you are seeing now. it takes maybe 20 minutes to prepare the sample in the first place, from mounting the insects on a stub to coating that stub with gold-palladium.
- Teacher Do they see in color?
Bugscope Team insects can see in color. some better than others, and some see specific colors better than others.
- Bugscope Team it is possible and even likely that a crustacean like the rolypoly does not see very well.
- Teacher How do moths eat?
Bugscope Team they eat with their proboscis, which is curled up right now. They drink liquids like nectar
- Teacher How long do moths live?
Bugscope Team around a month
- Teacher Why are moths attracted to light?
Bugscope Team they confuse strong lights with the sun, and it overwhelms them
- Bugscope Team actually, regarding moths being attracted to light, they are said to be confusing it with the moon; there are a variety of different theories about this
- Teacher Do they have blood vessels in their wings?
Bugscope Team they have channels like blood vessels that carry hemolymph into the wings
- Teacher Will they die if you touch their wings?
Bugscope Team their wings are pretty delicate. I think they will only die if you rip them. If you take some of the scales off I believe they will be fine still. The wings don't help them fly, but they can actually shed some to get out of a spider's web
- Teacher How many volts does an EM take to work?
Bugscope Team ours can run with as low as 500 volts, but usually we operate at 5000 volts, and when we are doing elemental analysis we may work at 20,000 volts
- Bugscope Team the insect version of blood is hemolymph, and there is not a circulatory system in the body like we have, but they do have the ability to pressurize the hemolymph and force it into the wings, and also into the proboscis when they want it to extend to drink nectar from a flower
- Teacher How many species of millepedes are there?
Bugscope Team there are around 10,000 known species
- Teacher What do they eat?
Bugscope Team they eat decaying plant material, called detritus, so they are sometimes called detritivores
- Teacher How can they walk with all those legs?
Bugscope Team Millipedes do not move one foot forward at a time – they move five or six in unison.
- Teacher Is that an eye?
Bugscope Team you can see the compound eye in the upper middle of where we are looking now
- Bugscope Team the millipede's compound eye has only 12 or 15 facets
- Teacher What is that hole?
Bugscope Team that is where an antenna is broken off
- Teacher What are those rocky things?
Bugscope Team those are little bits of rock and dirt
Bugscope Team those are indeed rocks, or dirt. ha Cate beat me to it
- Teacher Are they poisonous?
Bugscope Team they cannot bite or sting, but some of them can produce toxins that are most useful in deterring ants and other potential predators
- Teacher Why do they have so many legs?
Bugscope Team maybe it is helpful to have many short legs in the environment in which they live
Bugscope Team their short legs help with burrowing in the dirt
- Teacher Is that a hair?
Bugscope Team it is a hair, which in insects we call a seta; the plural is 'setae.'
- Teacher Do they shed?
Bugscope Team no, but some insects, as adults, can molt.
- Bugscope Team insects and other similar arthropods use setae to help sense their environment
- Bugscope Team some of the setae are chemosensory, meaning that they can collect scents from the air or from touching; some are mechanosensory, meaning that they are touch sensitive; and some setae are thermosensory, meaning they can sense hot/cold
- Teacher Do they suck blood? vampires?
Bugscope Team some insects, like mosquitoes and bedbugs, suck blood; also horseflies, which have slashing mouthparts
- Bugscope Team also fleas suck blood, as do lice
- Teacher They are made of cells. Are there cells inside of cells?
Bugscope Team some people would argue that mitochondria might once have been independent cells, but generally there are not cells inside of cells
- Teacher Do they lay eggs on the earwigs body?
Bugscope Team that is a good question, and we do not know -- we don't know much about mites. I want to buy a book about them but it is $143.
- Teacher IS this from the reticulated net winged beetle?
Bugscope Team if that is the type of beetle you sent us, then yes
- Teacher What is a palp?
Bugscope Team a palp is an accessory mouthpart that may resemble a tiny leg. it is used to manipulate and also taste prospective food
- Teacher Do you know how large these get?
Bugscope Team we don't. they are nectar feeding and don't live long. they are also poisonous, which accounts for their bright colors
- Teacher Why are they red?
Bugscope Team the red is usually an indicator that they should be left alone. Either they taste bad, or it is just to scare off predators
- Teacher Why do there wings look like nets?
Bugscope Team it's because the veins in the wings show up well; many insect wings are similar, but in the case of these beetles the veins are more obvious
- Teacher Are these used for preying?
Bugscope Team they seem to be used more for protection from predators; earwigs are plant pests, generally
- Bugscope Team the males have 'bowlegged' cercopods like these; those of the females are more straight
- Teacher Is that a proboscis?
Bugscope Team yes the thing sticking out towards us is a proboscis
- Bugscope Team you can see two palps standing up straight like rabbit ears
- Teacher How do they eat if they can' chew?
Bugscope Team they spit saliva onto their food, and they sponge up what the saliva dissolves
- Bugscope Team at the top of the head, from this view, you can see the antennae
- Teacher How many sets of wings do they have?
Bugscope Team flies just have 1 set of wings. They also have a set of halteres that beat opposite their wings to help give a gyroscopic effect
- Teacher Does it also dissolve eggshells?
Bugscope Team not that I know of...
- Teacher Is this a male or female?
Bugscope Team this is supposedly a female because of how far apart the eyes are
- Bugscope Team we had an entomologist tell us that in most flies, the male eyes are close together and those of the female are far apart
- Teacher Do all bugs have parasites?
Bugscope Team not only all bugs but all lifestages of bugs have parasites, or at least parasitoid wasps that want to lay their eggs in them
- Bugscope Team this is cool -- this is one of the mouthparts of a scorpion, which is an arachnid
- Teacher IS the EM process hard to do?
Bugscope Team it is really pretty straightforward, but sometimes we have to critical point dry samples, which can take some time
- Teacher How do scorpions eat?
Bugscope Team this is copied directly from Wikipedia: Scorpions have a relatively unique style of eating using chelicerae, small claw-like structures that protrude from the mouth that are unique to the Chelicerata among arthropods. The chelicerae, which are very sharp, are used to pull small amounts of food off the prey item for digestion into a pre-oral cavity below the chelicerae and carapace. Scorpions can only ingest food in a liquid form; they have external digestion. The digestive juices from the gut are egested onto the food and the digested food sucked in liquid form. Any solid indigestible matter (fur, exoskeleton, etc.) is trapped by setae in the pre-oral cavity, which is ejected by the scorpion.[
- Teacher How did you think of doing this with kids?
Bugscope Team we wanted a way to get kids interested in science. We know most schools wouldn't have access to electron microscopes so we made it possible. We hope that using bugscope, it gets kids thinking that maybe they want to do something science related. Like an entymologist
- Teacher How long have you been doing this?
Bugscope Team Bugscope has been running for almost 13 years. Some of us were here to help start it.
- Teacher How many years of training do you have to have?
Bugscope Team it is very helpful to have a college degree; it is easy to operate the instruments but takes a little more effort to learn the theory of operation so that you are good at working with a variety of samples
- Teacher Well, we have to go, thank you very much!
Bugscope Team Thank You! This is fun for us, and we learn as well.
- Bugscope Team you can access your images and chat from today by visiting your member page at http://bugscope.beckman.uiuc.edu/members/2011-109