Connected on 2012-03-22 09:30:00 from Cook, Illinois, United States
- Bugscope Team sample is now pumping down
- Bugscope Team good morning!
- Bugscope Team welcome to Bugscope!
- Bugscope Team we are just starting to make presets for today's session
- Bugscope Team it starts at 9:30, right?
- Bugscope Team StMike can you see our messages?
- Bugscope Team Hi John!
- Guest Good Morning everyone
- Bugscope Team hello!
- Teacher Good morning - the students are just entering - we'll be ready in about 5 minutes.
Bugscope Team Good morning!
- Bugscope Team we are ready to roll!
- Teacher We practiced yesterday - and I think we're all set.
- Bugscope Team SaintMike you have control of the microscope
- Guest Good morning!
Bugscope Team Hi Hailey!
- Guest Hi Hailey!
- Bugscope Team Please let us know when you have questions.
- Guest thank you :)
- Bugscope Team this is a housefly
- Bugscope Team it is a little bit beat up, we're sorry
- Bugscope Team this is the head of a very small beetle
- Bugscope Team you can see its mandibles, four palps (accessory mouthparts), its compound eyes, and its antennae
- Bugscope Team Hello to BK and Beth as well!
- Bugscope Team this is one of the moth's claws
- Bugscope Team moths are hard to image using SEM because they are covered with scales, and the scales do not conduct electrons very well
- Guest Is this still the claw?
- Teacher Do we know what type of moth this is?
Bugscope Team we don't know exactly. it was one of those medium-sized brown moths
- Bugscope Team this is a very small hexapod, likely related to springtails
- Bugscope Team hexapods resemble insects
- Bugscope Team you can see that it has tiny little bump-like eyes
- Bugscope Team like the eyes of a caterpillar -- a larval insect -- that are called 'stemmata.'
- Teacher are the dots we are seeing pores?
Bugscope Team no those are patterns on the exoskeleton. The pores are where you see hairs coming out
- Bugscope Team insects and other comparable arthropods do not have skin like we do -- they have an exoskeleton that is more like a shell, or a coat of armor
- Bugscope Team because they don't have skin, like us, they don't have nerve endings that sense touch, or hot/cold
- Bugscope Team their cuticle, which is what the exoskeleton is called, is made of a protein called chitin. it is similar to what our fingernails are made of
- Bugscope Team in order to be able to sense their environment, insects have what are called 'setae' (pronounced see-tee), which look like hairs to us, sticking through the cuticle
- Bugscope Team setae can be mechano (touch) sensory, thermo (hot/cold) sensory, and/or chemo (smell/scent) sensory.
- Bugscope Team this is an aphid
- Bugscope Team aphids can give birth to live aphid females without mating
- Teacher how are you able to upload images so quickly?
Bugscope Team you are driving a $600,000 scanning electron microscope -- controlling it from your classroom. the software our programmers wrote is optimized for collecting the live images and sending them as soon as possible
- Guest So is there a male or female?
Bugscope Team there can be males and females. I'm not sure which this one is. The females do mate with the males at the end of the year and lay eggs on plants to overwinter.
- Bugscope Team the Bugscope software accesses the instrument using machine language to make things go as quickly as possible
- Guest interesting
- Bugscope Team most aphids are wingless. When the need to migrate because there isn't enough food around, then the next batch of young aphids will have wings
- Bugscope Team you can see one of the compound eyes, to the north here
- Bugscope Team compound eyes are helpful, not only because they allow better peripheral vision, but because they pick up changes in the visual field very quickly
- Bugscope Team that is one reason why it is hard to swat a fly
- Bugscope Team this is a very small beetle
- Bugscope Team the pointy things you see at the bottom of the present image are palps, which help the beetle taste and also manipulate its food
- Bugscope Team the mandibles open left and right, unlike ours of course
- Teacher Are they able to grasp food with thier palps?
Bugscope Team the palps don't grasp the food as much as push it in the direction of the mouth
- Bugscope Team kind of like how our tongue works
- Bugscope Team you can see the ball and socket joint that attaches the base of the antenna to the head
- Bugscope Team insect communication relies highly on chemical signals, and much of the chemical signalling is detected via the antennae
- Teacher Because the antennae is attached to ball and socket joint, is it movable?
Bugscope Team yes! like the ball and socket that attaches the human femur to the pelvis
- Teacher What is able to detect the chemical signals?
Bugscope Team there are special setae that can read the signals
- Bugscope Team the tiny spines we see on the ball portion of the antenna here help the beetle sense the position of its antenna
- Guest What is that substance on the ball and socket joint that looks kind of like dust accumulation?
Bugscope Team it is something that doesn't belong on the insect, like dust or dirt.
- Guest Oh okay thank you!
- Bugscope Team some of the very small setae we see are not sensory -- they are called microsetae or sometimes microtrichae. they form patterns that make species identifiable to other insects, and sometimes they form colors; they also likely help with thermoregulation
- Bugscope Team these are the mandibles of the pseudoscorpion, with (across the lower left) one of its lobster-like claws
- Bugscope Team they live around here and are very small
- Bugscope Team they are arachnids, so they come from the same family as spiders and scorpions, but they do not have stinging tails like scorpions
- Teacher what are those feather like things near the mandibles
Bugscope Team they could be a different type of palp
- Bugscope Team pseudoscorpions live in the dirt and are thought to eat tiny arthropods that are also found there
- Bugscope Team this is a mechanosensory hair on the extended claw
- Guest This was very interesting. Thank you for letting me join your session. This is definetly something I will have my own students do.
Bugscope Team thanks for joining us today
- Bugscope Team those feathery palps likely have a filter-like function
- Teacher why is the opening for the seteae really wide?
Bugscope Team we see them like this sometimes, and I am not sure. the opening may have a chemosensory function as well
- Teacher is the mechanasensory hair a type of seteae or is something else
Bugscope Team it is a type of seta (singular of setae)
- Bugscope Team now we can see the sawtooth like portion of the claw, in the lower left
- Bugscope Team this resembles the pore we just looked at, but it is a spiracle, which is a pore through which insects breathe
- Teacher Are there many of these on an ant?
- Teacher What is a spiracle
Bugscope Team it is a breathing hole for insects. They don't breathe through their mouths. There is a trachea that runs through the body to supply oxygen to it and is connected to the spiracles
- Bugscope Team spiracles can be opened or closed by the insect, so it can 'hold its breath' when necessary
- Bugscope Team we had also made a preset of a thoracic spiracle on a fly, and there you can see that it is protected by a mesh of setae that presumably keep dust out
- Bugscope Team there it is!
- Bugscope Team insects have a head, two antennae, a thorax, and an abdomen
- Bugscope Team they also have six legs, as adults, and the legs are attached to the thorax
- Bugscope Team spiracles are paired, usually one on each side of a body segment
- Bugscope Team this is something interesting we found only this morning while we were setting up for your session
- Bugscope Team springtails are not as well-studied as other insects
- Teacher do you mean you found this insect in a lab
Bugscope Team an entomologist who specializes in springtails (Collembola) had given it to us. but we were surprised to find scales on its cuticle.
- Bugscope Team scales are actually modified setae. they are found on butterflies, moths, silverfish, mosquitoes, and few other insects
- Teacher what is the cuticle
Bugscope Team it's basically the exoskeleton
- Bugscope Team so this adds to the insects we know of that may have scales
- Teacher do you see repeating patterns on many insects
Bugscope Team yes we do! it is really cool to see
- Bugscope Team scales have a thermoregulatory function. they also seem to function similarly to the way feathers work on a bird's wing
- Teacher we want to thank you for this opportunity. we have to sign off for now
- Bugscope Team Thank You!
- Bugscope Team thanks for joining us today!
- Bugscope Team https://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2011-155
- Bugscope Team below is your member page
- Bugscope Team the images and a transcript of today's session are stored on that page
- Teacher Thank you again - I am the teacher - but all prior comments/questions had been written by my students. I 'guided from the side' but they were doing the controlling/generating of questions. I think we could have kept exploring for hours. The additional information you gave as we selected slides was phenomenal!!
- Bugscope Team glad everything went so well. That is great to hear!
- Teacher Have a great day!
- Bugscope Team You Too! Thank You!
- Bugscope Team signing out...
- Bugscope Team Bye!
- Teacher Bye
- Bugscope Team see you next year!
- Bugscope Team John and Hailey are you still here?