Connected on 2014-05-19 08:15:00 from Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States
- Bugscope Team dude it is looking good, like, perfect
- Bugscope Team Now I'm most worried about this sample pumping down.
- Guest cool, i'll take a shower and run some errands then.
- Bugscope Team I appreciate this. Thanks, DaddyO!
- sample is pumped down and we will start making presets right away
- Bugscope Team good morning!
- Teacher good morning Scot
- Bugscope Team my info shows that we connect with you live at 8:15 a.m. our time, which is 9:15 your time
- Bugscope Team if that is not correct please let me know...
- Teacher That is correct. So excited.
- Bugscope Team awesome! You can see I'm just starting to make alignments and find cool stuff for your classroom
- Teacher trying to find a good image of a scanning electron microscope to show the kids when they come in.
- Bugscope Team you can look on the Bugscope web page. there should be an image of this 'scope
- Bugscope Team we are ready to roll!
- Teacher kids on their way down to the computer lab.
- Bugscope Team awesome! cant wait
- Teacher I'd like to take is slow. Last year things went very fast. These are 1st. graders.
- Bugscope Team super cool
- Bugscope Team this is an assassin bug. it seizes other insects and sticks its proboscis into them. then it sucks out their juices
- Bugscope Team we can tell when "true bugs," like this one, are predators, because their proboscises -- their pointy mouthparts -- have three sections
- Teacher Where is the proboscic?
Bugscope Team it's the middle part. the proboscis is like the 'snout'
Bugscope Team it is the long conical part in the middle, as Cate says
- Bugscope Team they use the proboscis to drink liquids from either plants, or in this case, from other insects
- Bugscope Team see its round, dome-like eyes?
- Bugscope Team it also has big scary arms that it uses to hold its prey as it plunges its proboscis into them
- Bugscope Team you can see its antennae at the top of the image -- where we are looking now
- Bugscope Team this is the tip of its proboscis
- Bugscope Team there are many other related insects that use their proboscis -- their piercing, sucking mouthpart -- to suck the sap from plants
- Bugscope Team for example, cicadas have a similar mouthpart
- Teacher does a mosquito have a proboscis?
Bugscope Team yes it does, though it looks different. The mosquito has a lot more internal components- like a tube that delivers anticoagulant to keep your blood from clotting when it is drinking.
- Bugscope Team and only female mosquitoes will bite you. They need the blood meal to reproduce
- Teacher what are all of those prickly things that we see?
Bugscope Team the big prickly things are spines that help the assassin bug hold its prey
Bugscope Team the very fine hairs help the assassin bug sense what it is holding
- Bugscope Team insects do not have bones
- Bugscope Team instead, they have a hard shell on the outside of their bodies that is called an 'exoskeleton.'
- Bugscope Team 'exo' means 'on the outside'
- Teacher is this still the assasin bug?
- Bugscope Team this is a large wasp
- Teacher can we zoom in on the eyes?
- Bugscope Team wasps and bees and ants are related; that is, they share certain features
- Bugscope Team see how the eye is a large rounded dome? it has lots of tiny facets, like a diamond has facets, but in this case they are like little lenses
- Teacher Awesome! Are each of those cell looking things eyes?
Bugscope Team yes they are! they are called 'oimmatidia.'
- Bugscope Team oops 'ommatidia'
- Bugscope Team each of those will see some part of what's around them
- Bugscope Team a large wasp can have as many as *30,000* ommatidia in one eye!
- Teacher Wow! the magnification is amazing!! Do the insects see as we do? Do each of those ommatidia see the same thing? For example, do they see in multiples? Or do they see in greater detail?
Bugscope Team they do not see the same colors we do; in some cases they see better than we do because they see ultraviolet light
- Teacher Can they see behind them?
Bugscope Team often they do! that is why they have those dome-like eyes
- Bugscope Team also, this is cool: the compound eyes see motion very quickly -- they update very fast
- Teacher Do the ommatidia peel? We wondered what we saw on each of those ommatidia. It looked like they were peeling.
Bugscope Team the ommatidia do not peel -- that was stuff that had become stuck to the surface of the eye
- Bugscope Team the stinkbug is also a true bug and has a proboscis like the assassin bug. but it prefers to suck the juices out of plants; it does not bite other insects or people
- Teacher How does the probiscus suck up liquid? Does the insect actually suck in air like we do when we use a straw?
Bugscope Team it is very much like a straw
- Teacher Is this still the wasp?
Bugscope Team we are on the stinkbug eye
- Teacher That's the eye, right?
Bugscope Team yes it is!
- Bugscope Team it's the stinkbug eye!
- Teacher What do the stinkbugs eat? We get a lot of them around here.]
- Bugscope Team when we look at the top portion of the proboscis, we often see a ribbed tube that we think holds the suction
- Bugscope Team Stinkbugs feed off plant juices.
- Bugscope Team Most of them have a proboscis that they stick into the parts of plants that are fully of sugary water.
- Teacher Would we be able to see the stinkbug's legs?
Bugscope Team oh yeah!
- Teacher If they feed off plant juice, do they have a proboscis. If so, can we see it?
- Bugscope Team Yes, that's the long straw-like thing between the legs.
- Bugscope Team insects have six legs as adults
- Bugscope Team The proboscis is basically a soda straw! Except instead of sucking up coca cola, it is slurping up plant juices. It does this to get sugar and protein it needs to survive.
- Bugscope Team we can see where the legs come out of the body because the stinkbug is on its back
- Bugscope Team Yes.
- Teacher Great shot of the legs! Thanks! Wow - that's the proboscis? Do they tuck it under like that when they are not feeding?
Bugscope Team yes they do!
- Teacher What is the bumpy stuff we see on the thorax? Is that what they exoskeleton looks like?
Bugscope Team now we are looking at some of the bumps on the thorax
- Bugscope Team we are very close to the stink gland
- Bugscope Team stinkbugs do not like their own bad smells, so they have absorbent features around the outside of the gland that suck up the smell so they do not have to be exposed to it
- Teacher Do you know why stinkbugs love to come into our houses? Wouldn't they rather stay outside because that's where the plants are?
Bugscope Team sometimes insects are attracted to the warmth of houses
Bugscope Team To add to what Cate said, bugs are dumb. They just go where they sense odors that indicate food. Because we keep food in our homes, they will show up there looking to eat. Also, in the winter, as Cate said, they are looking for a warm place.
- Teacher Is that opening the stink gland?
Bugscope Team yes it is!
- Teacher Do they emit their stink when they feel threatened?
Bugscope Team yes that is exactly what they do
- Teacher Do insects have brains in their abdomen's?
Bugscope Team Their brains are in their heads, like ours. They have a network of nerves that attach to all of the spines and setae and bristles that stick out of their bodies and send signals to the brain
- Teacher What is this now? It looks like claws.
Bugscope Team that's what they are! they have claws on each of their legs
Bugscope Team The claws help them hang onto plants, especially when it is windy.
- Teacher What are setae?
Bugscope Team setae are the things that look like tiny hairs
- Teacher Do they use the setae to feel around?
- Bugscope Team we can see some setae now, and they are 'mechanosensory,' meaning that they sense touch and wind
- Bugscope Team setae can sense touch, hot/cold, and they can also sense chemicals -- insects can smell with them
- Bugscope Team some setae help the insect sense its own limbs, for example if a leg is hyperextended
- Bugscope Team Setae are also important to us: pollen sticks to setae very easiliy and gets passed from flower to flower by beetles and bees.
- Bugscope Team the mechanosensory setae like the ones we see now are cat or rat whiskers
- Teacher So the setae are those long things on either side of the claws?
Bugscope Team yes
- Bugscope Team I just moved us to the body of the wasp, where we can see an upside down male ant -- a flying ant
- Teacher Is the ant caught by the wasp?'
Bugscope Team This is a male ant right now.
- Bugscope Team if we see an ant with wings, we know that it is either a queen or a male ant
- Teacher Where are the wings on the ant?
Bugscope Team You can see them near it's "shoulder". They are the long and flat things, that look folded as it gets near the abdomen.
Bugscope Team Ooops. "Its" not "It's". sorry.
- Teacher What is the stronger defense for insects - their odor or sting?
Bugscope Team I think it depends on what is attacking them. Many insects have defenses against ants, and they have a variety of means of stopping them
Bugscope Team It depends upon the type of insect and what the predators are. For instance, monarch caterpillars and butterflies have bright colors to advertise the fact that they taste bad to birds and other predators.
- Bugscope Team aphids, for example, are true bugs like the assassin bug and the stinkbug -- they have piercing/sucking mouthparts. Aphids have an interesting defense against ants that comes from their cornicles.
- Teacher DW, are you Arthur's sister?
Bugscope Team No, I'm most assuredly male.
Bugscope Team :)
- Bugscope Team the cornicles look like exhaust pipes that come out of the back end of the aphid, and when an ant sticks its face near the cornicles, the aphid releases a fluid that sets up like instant glue, immobilizing the ant forever
- Teacher Oh, we are so sorry!! We know a DW from the Arthur books.
Bugscope Team Aaaaah! That's right! Nope, no relation. :)
- Bugscope Team Wasp stinger.
- Bugscope Team we can see from the scalebar, above and to the left, that this wasp's stinger is more than a millimiter long
- Bugscope Team 'millimeter,' sorry
- Teacher Can we get closer to this stinger?
Bugscope Team Scot is on it.
- Bugscope Team I am sorry there is dried fluid on the stinger; otherwise we would be better able to see the edges, which are serrated like a steak knife.
- Teacher Wow - is that still the stinger?
Bugscope Team yes it is!
- Bugscope Team there is what is called a parasitoid wasp for every insect and also evrery life stage of insect
- Teacher Are all of you guys entomologists?
- Bugscope Team those wasps are very small
- Teacher Are the stingers poisonous?
Bugscope Team they produce a venom that can paralyze prey, or just hurt it and make it leave the wasp alone
Bugscope Team People react to that venom in different ways. I, for instance, end up with just a red bump that hurts. Other people have very bad reactions and need to go to the hospital.
Bugscope Team there are a huge number of wasps that use their stingers to paralyze their prey and then also inject eggs into them that will hatch, and the larvae will eat their way out of the prey.
Bugscope Team One type of wasp injects eggs into those big green caterpillars that eat tomato plants - the tomato hornworms. The eggs hatch and the wasp larvae eat the caterpillar from the inside out, eventually popping out the caterpillar's side! The larvae then make little white cocoons attached to the back of the dying caterpilar, where they then turn into adult wasps.
- Bugscope Team we have an entomologist named Joe who works with us but is not in today. he helps us understand insects, but we have also studied them ourselves for many years
- Bugscope Team Cate is a physicist, I have a degree in English and biology, and Daniel is finishing his PhD in some kind of plant thing...
- Teacher Awesome! You all know so much about insects.
- Bugscope Team insects have an open circulatory system; they are full of a blood-like fluid called hemolymph
- Teacher Do insects have beating hearts?
Bugscope Team they have a multi-lobed organ that is kind of like a heart; they do not have a closed circulatory system with veins and arteries like we do.
Bugscope Team They also don't have blood like we do. They have a fluid called hemolymph that is used like blood, but it isn't blood cells.
- Teacher Do they have blood that flows?
Bugscope Team See my answer just above. I was writing about blood when you asked.
Bugscope Team the hemolymph is clear, and it is found throughout the inside of the insect
- Bugscope Team insects breathe through pores called spiracles; I will find some for you
- Bugscope Team this is a spiracle, which is a pore that insects breathe through
- Teacher Wow - do they have pores on their head, thorax, and abdomen or just on the head?
- Bugscope Team there are spiracles on each side, usually, or each segment of the body
- Teacher Like if you step on them by mistake, does blood come out?
Bugscope Team You'll see a clear or sometimes yellowish fluid. That's the hemolymph. It isn't red like our blood. The color is often due to what they've eaten recently.
Bugscope Team Those big green tomato hornworms I mentioned earlier are actually a bright blue when you feed them something other than leaves! If they're eating a lot of tomato leaves, then they are green. It is very odd looking!
- Bugscope Team we see them on the abdomen -- I will go to a lower mag to show you -- and we also see them on the thorax
- Bugscope Team now we can see three spiracles
- Teacher What are those cell looking things inside the spiracle?
Bugscope Team inside the spiracle is a mesh, often, like a filter that keeps dust from getting it
Bugscope Team let's go back to see
- Bugscope Team insects can open and close their spiracles, so they are also considered a means of controlling the level of moisture inside the insect
- Teacher Cool - are there any on their head? it seems weird that they breathe from their thorax and abdomen.
Bugscope Team I don't belive they are found on the head, anywhere
Bugscope Team oops 'believe.'
- Teacher Which insect is this? It's so white.
Bugscope Team haha this is the stinkbug; I knew I could find spiracles on it easily
- Bugscope Team the spiracles connect to ducts called tracheae that carry the air inside the body, and likely to the head
- Bugscope Team the ducts, when we see them, look very much like little cardboard tubes
- Bugscope Team they are corrugated
- Teacher Is this a stinkbug's leg?
Bugscope Team yes it is!
- Teacher That is interesting.
- Teacher We wonder why it looks so white. When we see them around here they are brown.
Bugscope Team That's just due to the contrast we have here. The electron microscope doesn't work with light, so it can't show colors. In real life this one is probably brown. But when we use this type of microscope, we only have black and white images.
Bugscope Team This microscope is different than the ones you may have seen before - the type that use magnifying glasses / lenses. This microscope uses electrons instead of light to illuminate the insects. Electrons don't have color, so what we see is the equivalent of bright and dark.
- Teacher Are these the ducts you were telling us about?
Bugscope Team that is comparable but it is just showing us that the insides of the antennae are hollow
- Bugscope Team people look at geological samples, and they look at protein from corn, and they look at chemicals..
- Teacher What else do you guys use the electron microscope for at your university?
Bugscope Team people look at bacteria, which often produce biofilms that protect them from being washed off,. and they look at very small devices they have fabricated; for example the flexible silicon people work with us
Bugscope Team One of our professors used an electron microscope to look at the tiny plant embryos hidden inside seeds.
- Teacher Oh wow - is it possible to see a mouth part?
Bugscope Team Scott is looking for one now.
- Bugscope Team this is a cute little beetle with its mouth open
- Teacher Woooo.... scary! But totally cool!! Is this still the stinkbug?
Bugscope Team this is another insect; the stinkbug does not have mouthparts like this.
- Teacher What are those two things hanging out of the mouth?
Bugscope Team those are called palps, and there are usually four of them; two of one kind and tow of another
- Bugscope Team above the opening we see the mandibles, which open side to side like a gate
- Teacher Is this beetle upside down? We
- Teacher We
- Bugscope Team the mandibles have hinges at the sides
- Teacher Sorry - we are wondering where the eyes are.
- Bugscope Team the beetle is on its back
- Bugscope Team now we can see the eyes
- Bugscope Team let's take the mag down further so you can get a better view
- Teacher Ahh, yes. How cute! Is that a wing we see on the left?
Bugscope Team its wings are on the other side, and they are tucked underneath shell like covers called elytra
- Teacher Are those segmented things hanging down the antennae?
Bugscope Team yes they are!
- Teacher what do palps do?
Bugscope Team they help the insect taste and also manipulate its food into its mouth, like a knife and fork
- Bugscope Team the palps are accessory limbs that have to do with eating and tasting in most insects
- Bugscope Team spiders have palps too, called pedipalps
- Bugscope Team let's go look at another beetle's mouth
- Bugscope Team this is a mean-looking beetle
- Teacher Is the eye the only place on an insect that does not have cilia?
Bugscope Team the eyes often have tiny setae on them as well, and those of bees are often covered with them
- Bugscope Team at the top we see very sharp
- Bugscope Team mandibles
- Teacher Oh my gosh! are those all the palps?
Bugscope Team they look like little bats
Bugscope Team You can see the eyes: the round bumps to the right and left. Scott is zooming in to one now.
- Teacher this is still the beetle - right?
Bugscope Team this is an emerald beetle
- Teacher What color is this beetle?
Bugscope Team Green.
Bugscope Team it's a beautiful metallic green, but when we prepare it for the electron microscope we coat it with gold-palladium. which looks silver
- Teacher and those all help the beetle get the food into its mouth?
Bugscope Team yes they do, and also taste!
Bugscope Team Mandibles are used to mash up food, just like we use teeth.
- Teacher so insects don't really chew anything - they just move it around to get it in?
Bugscope Team some of them chew a lot, and some of them use fluids to digest their food outside their mouths
- Bugscope Team this is the inside of the microscope
- Bugscope Team this is what the insects look like inside the vacuum chamber
- Bugscope Team this is exactically the insects we have been looking at
- Teacher Is this exactly what it looks like right now? Are those the insects we have been looking at?
Bugscope Team Yes.
- Bugscope Team Nice palp, Scott.
- Bugscope Team this, now, is the tip of one of the palps of the emerald beetle we had seen earlier
- Bugscope Team the things we see now are very small, and they function like tastebuds on our tongues
- Teacher wow - that's up super close!
Bugscope Team yes it is!]
- Bugscope Team let's take the mag down so we can see where we are
- Teacher Is it sticking out of its mouth?
Bugscope Team this is at the tip of one of those palps
Bugscope Team If you remember those round things that looked like fingers near its mouth, these are on the tips of those. They help the beetle taste things.
Bugscope Team It would be like you having taste buds on your fingers!
- Teacher Is this still the tip of a palp?
Bugscope Team yes it is!
- Bugscope Team the sharp things are the mandibles
- Teacher Amazing! So awesome to see.1
- Bugscope Team Heading to the beetle eye.
- Bugscope Team we can see that the eye facets are hexagonal
- Teacher I am sorry to say that we have to end our session now. Thank you very much for this incredible experience! Here are some comments from our first graders: "that was the best" "you guys rock" "we loved this" Thank you again, for your patience, time, and for sharing your knowledge with us today!
Bugscope Team Thank You!
- Bugscope Team http://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2013-104
- Bugscope Team this is super fun for us
- Bugscope Team below is a link to your homepage for this session
- Bugscope Team good bye, everyone!