Connected on 2009-09-28 12:30:00 from Bozeman, Mt, US
- Teacher Hi guys...this is Brian McGeehan, kids will be coming in about 7 or 8 minutes and it will take a few min. to get them online. Thanks!
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Bugscope Team We just completed the presets.
- Bugscope Team And you have control.
- Bugscope Team these came from collections but were not well identified
- Bugscope Team this is on the true bug, along the side of the thorax
- Bugscope Team have seen this on stinkbugs in the past
- Teacher OK....kids are getting logged on
- Bugscope Team Hi all!
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Student hello
- Bugscope Team let us know when you have questions, and we will try to answer
- Student Hello!
- Bugscope Team Rob is an entomologist, and Cate and I have been doing this for awhile so know one or two things
- Student hello
- Student what are we looking at
Bugscope Team Right now, the legs of an insect - a stink bug, maybe, by the looks of it.
- Bugscope Team Hello Logans, Conner and Caitlin, Kayla and Jordan!
- Bugscope Team we are looking at part of a true bug
- Bugscope Team Kesley and Daulton this is the exoskeleton of a true bug
- Student scot or rob what is an entomologist
Bugscope Team A scientist who studies insects! :)
- Student how much does this micro
- Bugscope Team a true bug is an insect that is usually characterised by its long piercing mouthpart
- Bugscope Team I was an English major so I am more like an etymologist.
- Student is the bug a male or female and how do you tell
Bugscope Team It's hard to say with this one. Sometimes you can tell female bugs because they're larger - they are filled with eggs! Other times there will be small differences, like the length of the antennae.
- Bugscope Team Maybe Scott can tell us the etymology of entomology.
- Bugscope Team whether or not an insect is male or female depends on the insect.
- Bugscope Team entomo- means 'cut' or 'notched' and refers to the way insect bodies are segmented
- Student are the eyes visible right now?
Bugscope Team no they would be a little further to either side; not sure we can see them on this critter
- Student on the right side of the head, why are there like black circles with dots it the middle
Bugscope Team that's where the bug is rotting a bit
- Teacher Hi guys...how do I scroll down to other presets?
Bugscope Team if you can't see the scrollbar for the presets, try widening the browser window a little bit, otherwise if you have a scrollwheel on your mouse use that
- Student What type of true bug is this?
Bugscope Team I am not completely sure what kind of bug it is - I didn't get to see these specimens. But I think it may be a stink bug.
- Teacher got it figured out...we will check out another
Bugscope Team ok cool
- Bugscope Team it could be a stinkbug, we are not sure -- it is little and rounded and actually looks kind of like a bedbug
- Bugscope Team We're looking at another bug now - and that's 'bug' in the scientific sense. See how it's mouth is long, like a straw. That's how you tell a bug from other insects.
- Bugscope Team We often make insect identification difficult for Rob, who is in a lab elsewhere on campus.
- Bugscope Team This guy has some dirty eyes.
- Bugscope Team this looks like a bunch of brochosomes on someone's compound eye
- Bugscope Team they would look better if we were working closer to the sample. brochosomes are often 300 to 400 nm in diameter; they are very small
- Bugscope Team They are actually made by another kind of insect - a leafhopper - but they end up getting all over the place.
- Bugscope Team brochosomes are tiny waxy pellets produced by leafhoppers, as Rob said
- Student What are brochosomes?
Bugscope Team These little whiffleball-like pellets that we can see on the screen.
- Bugscope Team they are thought to help the leafhopper keep itself and its eggs from drying out
- Bugscope Team leafhoppers have what is called a 'self-anointing' behavior in which they spread brochosomes on their bodies
- Student when you said bug didn't you mean hymeptera
Bugscope Team true bugs are hemiptera, yes
- Bugscope Team oh here we do, just above
- Bugscope Team Exactly - hemipterans! Very good.
- Bugscope Team You guys must really know your insects.
- Teacher Is the pollen grain centered?
- Bugscope Team I moved this for us because it had changed since we made the preset
- Bugscope Team now it is; it is so beautiful --- I don't recall having seen one like this before
- Student what are the spikes on the polen grain
Bugscope Team the spikes help it stick to (d'oh!) Cate beat me to it
- Bugscope Team It reminds me of diatoms, or other plankton. Very cool.
- Bugscope Team i think the spikes usually help the pollen grains stick to things
- Student what is pollen?
Bugscope Team They are gametes - sexual cells - released by plants. Takes a pollen grain and a flower to make seeds. Lots of insects eat pollen as a food source, so it ends up on their bodies quite frequently.
- Student what type of insect is a weevil? is it a beatle?
Bugscope Team Not a Beatle, but a beetle. ;)
Bugscope Team But to answer your question a little better, they are beetles whose mouths have been pulled into long snouts.
- Bugscope Team when insects are attracted to pollen they go from plant to plant and end up dispersing it -- they end up doing what the plant wanted, which is to have the pollen fertilize other plants
- Bugscope Team bees normally do this, and when there are no bees to pollinate fruit, there will be no fruit
- Student why does the eye have so many bumps
Bugscope Team the bumps are ommatidia -- they are the individual facets of the eye, and they are individual lenses
- Bugscope Team some weevils, we have found, have scales, like butterflies, moths, skippers, mosquitos, and silverfish do
- Bugscope Team you can see a moth or butterfly scale to the left of the dome-like structure of the compound eye
- Bugscope Team the eye is called a compound eye when it has all of those individual facets
- Student rob or any entropologist what got you interested in insects?
Bugscope Team I've always thought insects were really cool. And in college I found out that they were good animals to use in research, so very useful to study!
- Bugscope Team insects may also have simple eyes, sometimes called ocelli
- Student why does having so many facets help the bug
Bugscope Team Generally, because the way the eye is set up: the more facets, the better it can see. Insects will have more if vision is important to them; other insects, like cave creatures, will have very few or none at all.
- Bugscope Team if you had compound eyes you would have a much improved ability to detect motion
- Bugscope Team These are a close-up of the scales that Scott mentioned earlier.
- Bugscope Team so you could see things that are coming at you more quickly; that is why it is hard to swat flies
- Bugscope Team and if you had compound eyes you would also likely have much better peripheral vision
- Student does each lense of the eye have its own optic nerve?
Bugscope Team in a way it does; the brains of flying insects, like fruit flies, have a huge area devoted to visual signal processing
Bugscope Team Yeeess... sort of. Each has a single nerve that runs into the optic lobe, but it is not the bundle of nerves that we call an optic nerve in a human.
- Student what is the purpose of the scales
Bugscope Team A lot of scales also give color to an insect. For instance, if you removed all the scales from a butterfly wing, it would just be translucent - no color.
- Bugscope Team if you had scales, and you were small, it would be helpful in getting you out of spiderwebs
- Student Why are the ends of each scale so wavy?
Bugscope Team sometimes they are wavy and sometimes not; I think they also function to increase surface area in flying insects, much like feathers do for birds
- Bugscope Team you could leave the scales there and just slip out
- Bugscope Team Rob is correct; scales may impart pigment color as well as structural color to an insect
- Bugscope Team sometimes when we go way up in mag to see scales, we see tiny pigment granules; in addition, the shape and distance between the ridges can produce colors that don't have to do with pigments
- Student trjrii
- Bugscope Team this is the head of a moth. some insects, including many moths, can see in the ultraviolet wavelengths of light -- where humans do not see
- Student How big is the microscope, how much does it cost, and what is the max zoom?
Bugscope Team the microscope is about as big as an executive desk, with a column about 6 feet high on one end; it cost about $600,000 in 1998, and we can go over 500,000x in mag but get useful information at no higher than about 200,000x
- Bugscope Team some flowers produce UV light to attract pollinators
- Student what is the purpose of the hair like stuff and what is it called?
Bugscope Team hairs on insects are called setae (pronounced see-tee), and they are for the insects to feel the environment around them. They dont have skin like us, but a hard shell so it would be hard for them to get sensory back unless they had that "hair"
- Teacher What are we looking at guys...they don't look like antannae
Bugscope Team these are longer scales on the head
Bugscope Team I think we are looking at the labial palps, which are appendages of the mouth.
- Bugscope Team the setae allows the insects to feel, taste, smell, etc. Not all setae have the same ability.
- Bugscope Team Cate is right: when we see long hairlike structures they are often sensory setae.
- Bugscope Team Ooh, not looking at insects anymore.
- Student Can they see in the dark better than we can?Does the glare affect them as it does us?
Bugscope Team I don't know about the glare. But nocturnal insects are superbly adapted for night vision. They actually diminish the pigments in their eyes so they have a better chance of catching stray photons.
- Bugscope Team I believe we're looking at the business end of spider fangs.
- Bugscope Team yes you can see the spider's fangs, folded inward, there
- Student what % of the insects are carnivors and what % of the
- Student do they have taste buds
Bugscope Team They can taste, but they use hairs - no taste buds like us.
- Student bye! thanks! that was really cool!!! :)..
- Bugscope Team fortunately the glare does not affect you as bad as it does moths
- Student 5tthankz
- Bugscope Team thank you for using bugscope
- Student that was awesome have to go now
- Student GOOD BEY THAOUNK Y
- Student Thank you so much! what we saw was really cool. =]
- Bugscope Team Thanks for the questions!
- Student is antomology just the study of insearthropodscts
Bugscope Team Entomology is strictly the study of insects, yeah - but they lump spiders and mites and things with us all the time.
- Student that was sweet but we have to go
- Bugscope Team remember to check out your member page for all the chat and pics from today's session: http://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2009-107
- Student THANX SO MUCH
- Student You Guys are awsome but we have to go to our next class see ya
- Student !
- Teacher Wow....awesome session, this group is leaving and the next one will be in shortly
- Bugscope Team ok cool
- Bugscope Team hey everyone! welcome to bugscope.
- Teacher OK...the next group is in guys
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Bugscope Team welcome to bugscope!
- Bugscope Team these are scales, not commonly found on beetles, on a weevil
- Bugscope Team scales on weevils sometimes make them look velvety
- Student what order of insect is a weevil?
Bugscope Team They're beetles, so the order Coleoptera.
- Student what is a weevil
Bugscope Team It's a beetle with a long snout for a mouth.
- Student why do weevils have scales? is there a purpose for them?
Bugscope Team scales often help insects escape from spider webs. they also help give the insect its color (ones that have scales), and its shimmering quality in the case of some weevils
- Student what is the purpose of there long snout
Bugscope Team It helps get their mouth into small, hard-to-reach places. A lot of weevils chew small holes in acorns and seeds and then stick their mouth inside.
- Bugscope Team On the beetles I study, the scales are there for color. I would guess it is the same for the weevils.
- Bugscope Team usually the only insects with scales are silverfish, mosquitos, butterflies, moths, and skippers
- Bugscope Team by the way it happens that this dude does not have a long snout
- Student are there different types of electron microscopes?
Bugscope Team yes basically there are scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) and transmission electron microscopes (TEMs).
- Student when is it too cold for insects?
Bugscope Team It depends on the insect. 40 degrees is too cold for some insects. Other ones can freeze solid and be just fine.
- Bugscope Team this is an SEM.
- Bugscope Team Ah, yes - like Scott says, not all weevils have the long snout.
- Bugscope Team this is them head of one of those walking sticks
- Bugscope Team this is *the* head...
- Student how are they able to freeze solid and still be alive
Bugscope Team It's tricky. It involves the use of chemicals that cause ice crystals to form outside, rather than inside, the cells.
- Student how many species of weevils are there
Bugscope Team there are said to be (Wikipedia) over 60,000 species of weevils
Bugscope Team There are actually more species of weevil than any other beetle.
- Student do all insects have the same compound eye
Bugscope Team no -- once you start looking you that they are sometimes quite different
- Bugscope Team Excuse me, any other group of beetles.
- Student what are the little hexagons called and how many are on a normal compound eye?
Bugscope Team the hexagons are individual facets of the eye, called ommatidia, and there can be several thousand on a wasp eye, for example, and as few as 10 or 12 on an ant eye. ants sometimes have no eyes
- Student What colors can insects see?
Bugscope Team Great question, and I have give you a disappointing answer: "it depends on the insect." Some insects can see everything you can. Others can see ultraviolet light, but not low frequences of visible light (like red or orange).
- Bugscope Team You can actually tell what insect pollinates a flower by what color it is. Bees see ultraviolet but not low frequency (red) colors. So flowers that are attracting bees are usually blue or violet, rather than red or orange.
- Student can the lense on each little hexagon focus on different points?
Bugscope Team They can't move, so they are stuck seeing whatever photo comes their way. However, lenses on different parts of the compound eye will see different things. Insects have a huge field of view, can many can see almost entirely around their bodies.
- Bugscope Team those soybean aphids must really go for yellow flowers
- Bugscope Team Excuse me - they can see what ever photon comes their way. Not photo.
- Student what kind of insects or birds are attracted to yellow flowers
Bugscope Team Not sure about birds. But oddly, most insects are attracted to yellow. I am not sure why. Perhaps because it is a common flower color?
- Student how many years do bees live
Bugscope Team The queen bee in a honey bee hive can live for many years - the workers usually live on the order of several weeks.
- Student what is coating the insects eyes?
Bugscope Team sometimes after they die, they get dust on them, or fluids, or mold, and even bacteria
- Bugscope Team I found a reference that says that bird pollinated flowers are usually red or yellow
- Bugscope Team Adding on to what Rob said, worker honey bees are said to live 28 to 35 days. The queens can live up to 2 years.
- Student how long does the stickck bug live?
Bugscope Team The stick insects in Illinois, where I am, only live for a year.
- Student what insect has the shortest life span
Bugscope Team it is said that the lifespan of an adult mayfly may be as short as 30 minutes
Bugscope Team The shortest I can think of is called a Strepsipteran, which is a weird little order of insects called the twisted-wing flies. The male strepsipterans, if I remember correctly, will live as little as a few hours after emerging as adults.
- Bugscope Team one of the bugs in the 'scope today has lots of brochosomes, from a leafhopper, on its compound eyes
- Student what do they use the claws for mainly
Bugscope Team claws help insects grasp things, like you do using your hands; they can help them climb rough surfaces, for examples
- Student what insect has the longest life span
- Teacher Matt wants to know what the hairs are called and what are they for
Bugscope Team the hairs are called setae, or microsetae, or trichae, or microtrichae, or spines or bristles...
- Bugscope Team Ok, Scott's insect wins.
- Bugscope Team The catch with insect life spans is that when the adults live for very short periods of time, the young insects can live for years. For instance, cicadas live for only a few months, but underground as nymphs they can live for over a decade!
- Student Why does a cricket need claws? What does it use them for?
Bugscope Team a lot of insects have claws. They use them to grip onto things they are climbing on, or to hold onto their food
- Bugscope Team it is also said that some queen termites may live for 50 years
- Teacher Rob...I'm a fly fishing outfitter ...aren't tricorythode mayflies adults for just a few hours
Bugscope Team Yeah, like Scott said - the lifespan of mayfly adults can be very, very brief. Can't believe I forgot about them. The nymphs, on the other hand, spend a long time developing underwater.
- Student how fast can a termite travel
Bugscope Team I can't find a hard number for you. But from my own observations, they can travel about as fast as an average ant - pretty quick considering the size.
- Student how long can ant queens live
Bugscope Team Some ant colonies are annual - the queens live only a year. Others can last for many years. And some colonies replace their queens, so they can live, well, indefinitely!
- Bugscope Team setae can be mechano(touch)sensory, chemo(smell)sensory, or thermosensory (registering hot or cold)
- Student how long are termite queens?
Bugscope Team They can also live for many years.
- Student Why do the queens of hymenoptera colonies live so much longer than other insects?
Bugscope Team That is a great question. I'm discussing it wth a few other entomologists right now and we don't have a good answer for you. Queen insects are expressing a different set of genes than the workers, and whatever is activated must extend their life spans.
- Student what is the largest insect in the world
Bugscope Team a Lobster
Bugscope Team Depends on your measure of size. :) Heaviest, the goliath beetle. Largest area, the atlas moth. And longest is a stick insect in polynesia whose name I can't recall.
- Student yo scott a lobster isnt a insect
- Student how big is this microscope, how much does it cost and how hard is it to work
Bugscope Team the microscope is about the size of a very large desk, and it has a column about 6 feet tall at one end; it cost about $600,000; it is really pretty easy to operate
- Bugscope Team really, the largest insect in the world is sometimes said to be the Goliath beetle, which is about as big as your fist
- Student why cant insect get any body get any bigger like in the horrer movies
Bugscope Team Ah, another great question, and one I can actually answer. The insects are limited by two main things - the exoskeleton can't support a large bug, and the air won't diffuse fast enough into a large insect to keep it alive.
- Bugscope Team lobsters have two sets of antennae, unlike insects, and they are segmented differently as well
- Bugscope Team oh yeah some of those stick insects can be like 15 inches long!
- Student thanks i know it took ur time it was awsome
- Bugscope Team Thank You!
- Student how much is the microscope worth now
Bugscope Team that is hard to say -- it is still just as good as it was when we bought it
- Bugscope Team Thanks for the questions!
- Student thank you scot and others it was really nice
- Student that was wicked thank you gtg bye
- Student you guys were great and very helpful
- Student that was super awesome, and we hope that we can do it again some time
- Student thank you so much!
- Bugscope Team all the chat and images from today's session are saved to your member page: http://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2009-107
- Bugscope Team Thank You! You were great participants today!
- Bugscope Team thank you for all your great questions. it's always fun trying to stump the entymologist
- Teacher You guys rock! Great sessions, the kids are already raving about how cool this was. Thanks a bunch for providing such an amazing experience to our students!!! We are done for the day.
- Bugscope Team And stumped I was. Excellent questions today.
- Bugscope Team Thank you Mr McG!
- Bugscope Team you are totally welcome
- Bugscope Team remember you member page, you can access it anytime, and review your session with your students: http://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2009-107
- Bugscope Team eu, eu
- Bugscope Team over and out....