Connected on 2012-03-19 09:30:00 from New York, New York, United States
- Bugscope Team pumping down the sample now
- Bugscope Team making presets
- Teacher we are here and we will be ready in 10 minutes. I don't need sound, correct?
- Bugscope Team no sound is needed
- Bugscope Team I will be done and ready for in in about 5 minutes or so
- Bugscope Team we are ready when you are!
- Teacher Hi we are ready!!
- Bugscope Team hi everyone. We have a bunch of your aphids today along with some other things
- Bugscope Team the head is to the upper right
- Bugscope Team it's proboscis, which is uses to drink liquids, is sticking out
- Bugscope Team unfortunately it uses that same proboscis to poke us
- Teacher what is the thing between the front two legs? - naomi
Bugscope Team that looks to be a piece of debris, maybe dirt
- Teacher hmmm we are confused
Bugscope Team oh, I think you are actually looking at the proboscis
- Bugscope Team sorry about that
- Teacher what exactly does it do?
Bugscope Team it uses the proboscis like a straw. It's similar to an elephant's trunk
- Teacher itamar- What are the circles around the bottom of the body?
Bugscope Team that is the area of the abdomen. The circles are where the abdomen can fill out. It's a little flat right now, but if the aphid were full, it would have a nice round abdomen
- Teacher elsbeth- what are the dots on the legs?
- Bugscope Team those are setae (pronounced see-tee), which are really just hairs
- Bugscope Team there are hairs on a lot of insects. The exoskeleton isn't as sensitive as our skin, so they rely on those hairs to relay information about what they are touching, tasting, smelling, etc
- Teacher julia- do aphids have brains?
Bugscope Team yes, though they are very small
- Teacher how small compared to their bodies?
Bugscope Team you see one of those round segments of where the leg meets the body? The brain is probably about that size
- Teacher emma- where on the body do aphids carry their eggs?
Bugscope Team their abdomen
- Teacher should we hold off on general questions (we are very inquisitive) while you show us about our aphids?
- Bugscope Team if you want, you can choose a preset by clicking on the left arrow and selecting a picture. The ones I did for aphids are near the bottom
- Teacher leo- how many species of aphids are there- and what are the most common ones?
Bugscope Team there are about 1500 species between US and Canada
Bugscope Team looks like there are about 4000 in the world. I;m not sure which is the most common
- Teacher this is the pregnant aphid?
- Bugscope Team so here is one that is/was full of eggs
- Bugscope Team the things sticking out the bottom of the abdomen are called cornicles
- Teacher what do the cornicles do?
Bugscope Team the cornicles exude a sticky liquid that is a defensive measure against most things that would eat it. The predators will get stuck in the liquid. There are a type of ant that will farm that liquid though
- Bugscope Team there is a crack in the abdomen, you can see, so I'm not sure there are eggs still in her
- Teacher chloe- how many eggs can they lay?
Bugscope Team aphids lay about 2000 eggs in a lifetime
Bugscope Team oops that's not right. I am not sure. My book is a little misleading
- Teacher lila- what does the inside of an aphid look like?
Bugscope Team they have a long tube running through them that supplies oxygen throughout the body. They also have another long tube that includes the heart. Other than that there is a lot of muscle
- Teacher I (Shakira) heard that the females give birth to live young that are only females, born already pregnant. Is that true?
Bugscope Team yes if they are unfertilized they birth females. And yes are born live. It's called parthenogenesis
- Teacher Bethel- what color is an aphid when it just hatches?
Bugscope Team most insects when they first emerge are white. I think the same are true for aphids
- Teacher william- what color blood does an aphid have?
Bugscope Team I'm not really sure, but it might be different depending on the aphid. Some bug blood is clear, some appears green
- Teacher charlotte- when baby aphids are they born with their eyes open?
Bugscope Team insects can't close their eyes. They don't have eyelids. They have compound eyes, which are made up of many ommatidia, which can each see something
- Teacher katie- how long do aphids live?
Bugscope Team they live for around a month
- Teacher how many at once? Also we heard that in the winter they give birth to live young
Bugscope Team I think they have 3 to 6 a day
- Teacher declan- how much do aphids suck a day?
Bugscope Team not sure, but ladybugs can eat around 50 a day!
Bugscope Team 50 aphids that is
- Teacher alice- why are aphids different colors?
Bugscope Team usually the coloring on the aphids help them to blend in to the type of plant they like. Other times the bright colors they might have help to warn away potential predators
- Teacher in our greenhouse the liquid also made the plants get powdery mildew. Is that common?
Bugscope Team I think so
Bugscope Team Ah! I found that yes, it can cause the growth of black, sooty mold, which can prevent light from reaching the photosynthetic tissue of the plant.
- Teacher josh- why do aphids produce honeydew?
Bugscope Team i think it is just a waste byproduct. Ants and some other insects will farm that liquid for their own use
- Teacher gabbie- how far can aphids fly without rest?
Bugscope Team I'm not sure. Good question!
- Teacher ethan- do aphids mate?
Bugscope Team Yes late in the year the females mate with the males
- Teacher jake- which species of aphid is the biggest and smallest?
Bugscope Team The large oak aphid is the biggest. It's the size of a coffee bean
- Teacher camilla- why do aphids suck up the juice in the leaves?
Bugscope Team that is what they eat
- Teacher jonah R- how small can aphids species be?
Bugscope Team they can be about .13 centimeters. Not sure what species is the smallest though
- Teacher thomas- do aphids like a certain type of plant over others?
Bugscope Team Yes but that depends on the species.
- Teacher sadie- how often do aphids drop honeydew?
- Teacher peter- how did aphids get their name?
Bugscope Team it is though to be derived from the plural of Greek apheides which means "unsparing, lavishly bestowed,"
- Teacher milah- how long are aphids pregnant?
Bugscope Team I found somewhere they can give birth within 10 days of being born themselves
- Teacher luisa- do aphids eat flowers?
Bugscope Team Yes, they can feed on the stem, flowers, and leaves.
- Teacher ethan- what is the maximum height and weight of an aphid?
- Teacher tenzing- are there only certain aphid species that get wings?
Bugscope Team All species can get wings, but not all are born with it.
- Teacher bria- are the wings the same size as the aphid's body?
Bugscope Team they are a little bit bigger.
- Teacher ethan- do aphids flap or glide with their wings?
Bugscope Team they do both, but mostly flap. Like a fly
- Teacher this is Shakira again- I heard that aphids can only develop wings in the winter. true?
Bugscope Team They develop wings when conditions force them to. Say their food source is getting low, there will be some aphids born with wings so they can locate to a new area
- Teacher braedon- what do aphids use claws for?
Bugscope Team They use claws to hold onto things, like the plant they are eating from
- Teacher elsbeth- how long are an aphid's wings?
Bugscope Team I think that depends on the aphid. They look to be a little longer than the body, but not by much
- Teacher alice- do aphids usually walk or fly?
Bugscope Team most are born wingless so they walk around
- Teacher ahmed- what happens to their wings when there is plenty of food around?
Bugscope Team they might still migrate to a new location if they are born with wings.
- Bugscope Team you all are asking great questions!
- Teacher do you want to show us anything about our aphids before we ask more great questions?
- Bugscope Team here are some egg casings. These might be from a pregnant aphid that kind of blew open
- Bugscope Team Here is a cornicle up close
- Teacher sorry didnt' realize you were showing us
- Bugscope Team No it's ok
- Bugscope Team if you wanted to move to the closeup of the cornicle that would be fine
- Bugscope Team this is where a waxy substance comes out
- Teacher now we want to ask you some more general questions to understand the aphids in our greenhouse
- Bugscope Team what kind of plant did you get these aphids from?
- Teacher we got these aphids from our lettuce plants
- Teacher i was told these are green peach aphids. it's so hard to identify them
- Teacher gregory- what temperatures do they like?
Bugscope Team they definitely thrive in warm temperatures
Bugscope Team they like between 65-80 degrees F most
- Bugscope Team the green peach aphid is a fairly common species
- Teacher gabbie- when there aren't any plants can they adapt?
Bugscope Team Yes, that is when they will be born with wings, so they can move to a new location.
- Bugscope Team the green peach aphid eats many different kinds of plants. Probably why it is so common
- Teacher ethan- do aphids eat anything else other than plant juices?
Bugscope Team they just feed on the sap of plants. Nothing else
- Teacher we would still like to ask you some more questions even though our time is up. is that ok?
- Bugscope Team There are some honey ants that protect the aphids so they can farm the honeydew the aphids produce
- Bugscope Team sure that is fine
- Bugscope Team I usually work on bugscope with another person, Scott, but he couldn't make it today. Sometimes we also have guest entomologists join us.
- Bugscope Team We are located within the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
- Bugscope Team All your chat and images you saw today can be accessed again from your member page at http://bugscope.beckman.uiuc.edu/members/2011-159
- Teacher itamar-how delicate are the wings?
Bugscope Team they are very thin, and transparent. They are still made of chitin, which is the same stuff their exoskeleton is made from, but a very thin amount
- Teacher Wyatt-do aphids have teeth
Bugscope Team no, they have no biting mouthparts. They just have their proboscis
- Teacher Ahmed-is There any kind of plant that aphids like most???
Bugscope Team they like healthy plants. The type depends on the species. Their eggs can also overwinter attached to the plant
- Teacher sydney- how much honeydew does an aphid drop a day?
Bugscope Team I'm not sure how much sorry
- Teacher when do they drink xylem and when do they drink phloem?
Bugscope Team The xylem is high in water, so they drink that when they are feeling dehydrated. Phloem is for their nutrients
- Teacher they like healthy plants? we thought they like sick plants
Bugscope Team They can make plants sick. They can transmit viruses to plants
- Teacher luca- can aphids be hazardous to your health?
Bugscope Team not directly, but they can ruin the plants you want to eat from, as you well know
- Teacher mali- aphids like the stems where there is a lot of juices but why do we also see them on leaves?
Bugscope Team they eat from all of the foliage. Stems, leaves, and flowers.
- Teacher Cate the kids have left now (they were 3rd graders by the way) and we can't thank you enough!!!!!! this was so amazing. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about aphids in greenhouses? Also, when we try to identify them is there something in particular that we should be focusing on? thanks again, Shakira
Bugscope Team to identify, the best way is to look at their coloring, and possibly what plant they were on. But as I mentioned some species like more than one plant, so that isn't always helpful
- Bugscope Team Watch out for those aphids. Ladybugs are helpful in eating them
- Bugscope Team I hope you all had a good time looking at your aphids! It was very nice that you sent them in liquid. they don't air dry very well
- Bugscope Team Have a good day, over and out!