Connected on 2013-11-19 10:20:00 from Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, United States
- Bugscope Team sample is in 'scope and pumping down
- Bugscope Team waiting for the vacuum to get better
- Teacher My class will begin in about 3 minutes.
- Bugscope Team ok sounds good!
- Teacher We are ready!
- Bugscope Team cool. you guys have control of the microscope.
- Bugscope Team let us know when you have quesitons
- Bugscope Team these are the spider's fangs
- Bugscope Team and we can see, below them, one of the ridges that helps secure the prey so the spider can bite it
- Bugscope Team please let us know if you have problems controlling the microscope
- Bugscope Team there is a set of presets on the lefthand screen
- Bugscope Team each fang has a pore in it, near the tip, that injects the venom
- Teacher What type of spider is this/
Bugscope Team it is a kind of pseudo black widow, from California
- Bugscope Team we can tell it is a female because it has small pedipalps compared to a male
- Bugscope Team the fangs are attached to the chelicerae -- you can see them if you take the magnification down
- Teacher What is the function of the hair?
Bugscope Team the hairs help the spider feel what is going on around it. Some spider hairs are also more sensitive to vibrations so it can tell when prey is near
- Bugscope Team now we see how they bite -- they spread the chelicers wide enough to get a good grip
- Bugscope Team spiders and insects have exoskeletons. They can't feel things through their shell like we can our skin
- Bugscope Team part of the spider's body is soft, and part (the cephalothorax) is hardened
- Bugscope Team the abdomen is soft, so if we do not critical point dry a spider, the abdomen will shrivel when it dries
- Bugscope Team please be sure to try some of the other presets
- Bugscope Team spiders inject venom into their prey; the venom dissolves the prey's internal organs
- Teacher How are the insects dried?
Bugscope Team often we just let them air dry, but when we get them in ethanol we can use a critical point dryer to dry them without causing collapse of the soft tissues
- Bugscope Team we replace the water in the insect with ethanol, and we do to higher and higher grades of ethanol until we are at 100%
- Bugscope Team in the critical point dryer we can replace the ethanol with liquid CO2
- Bugscope Team this fly has 2 big compound eyes and 3 simple eyes in the middle of the top of the head
- Teacher Does this fly have simple eyes?
Bugscope Team yes!
- Bugscope Team and take the CO2 above the critical point, where there is no phase difference betwen liquid and gas
- Bugscope Team the ocelli (simple eyes) are on top of the head, in the middle
- Bugscope Team there are three ocelli
- Bugscope Team insects have setae (the hairs, or bristles, or spines) that allow them to sense touch, wind, hot/cold, and smell
- Teacher Is the debris on the compound eyes a result of the drying process or how they are stored?
Bugscope Team it is how they were collected and also stored
- Bugscope Team sometimes we clean them by rinsing them with ethanol, but often the debris is interesting
- Bugscope Team sometimes we find mites, or pollen, or mold spores
- Bugscope Team cute little ladybug
- Bugscope Team larva
- Bugscope Team to the lower left we see a shriveled-up aphid
- Teacher My students don't think it is so cute.
Bugscope Team haha We don't either, really
- Bugscope Team they are predators, both as larvae and as adults
- Bugscope Team it sure is creepy
- Bugscope Team aphids are softbodied, so when they dry they look like an assemblage of limbs, like someone threw a bagpipe on a bed
- Bugscope Team adult ladybugs like to eat aphids, in particular, so they are protecting your garden
- Teacher What is the function of the spikes on the sides?
Bugscope Team I think they discourage other insects from eating them
Bugscope Team once they become adult, they have coloration (the red elytra, with the black spots) that lets other insects and birds, for example, know that they do not taste good
- Bugscope Team we see stubby little antennae, and they usually have five or so stemmata (eyes) on each side
- Teacher Do they see well as larvae?
Bugscope Team I don't think so, not at all
- Bugscope Team when they become adults, they can fly, of course, and they have compound eyes
- Bugscope Team the two deflated-looking domes are stemmata, and the thing to the right is the antenna
- Bugscope Team this is cool
- Bugscope Team leafhoppers have piercing/sucking mouthparts
- Teacher So strange though
- Bugscope Team the curved thing we see is the actual stylet, which pierces the leaf
- Bugscope Team a blunt proboscis
- Bugscope Team bed bugs have similar mouthparts, but they like blood
- Bugscope Team they drink plant juice.
Bugscope Team health conscious insects
- Bugscope Team bedbugs can point their mouthparts out in front the head, like a unicorn, kind of
- Bugscope Team in front of their head...
- Teacher Doesn't really lengthen their lives though does it?
Bugscope Team the plant juices? haha
- Bugscope Team some true bugs, which the bed bugs and leafhoppers are a part of, feed on other insects, piercing through the cuticle and sucking the guts and other juices out with their mouthparts
- Bugscope Team this is a 75-year-old leafhopper
- Teacher Was it that old or have you had it that long?
Bugscope Team I think it is just a few months old, really. It's good to live in places that have winter, where it freezes.
- Bugscope Team most insects only live around 1-3 months.
- Bugscope Team unfortunately bed bugs can live a lot longer
- Bugscope Team once an insect grows wings, it is an adult and will not molt again
- Teacher My students want to know how you can tell how old they are.
Bugscope Team actual age is pretty hard to determine, but you can make fairly good guesses since insects undergo molts and changes at fairly regular intervals until they're adults
Bugscope Team regular intervals assuming they are getting the food they need.
- Bugscope Team this is a beetle with kind of exaggerated mouthparts; you can see the mandibles and the palps, as well as the antennae
- Teacher What is the life span of a bed bug?
Bugscope Team they can live around a year to a year and a half
Bugscope Team they can live for around a year without food as well
Bugscope Team which makes them all the harder to get rid of
- Bugscope Team beetles often have two sets of palps, which are like accessoty mouthparts
- Bugscope Team accessory...
- Bugscope Team speaking of beetles and age, there has been reports of longhorned beetles that came out of 40 year old furniture (slowly developing in the wood all that time).
- Teacher My students see now why they are called dirty beetles.
- Bugscope Team palps have sensillae and setae that help them taste their prospective food
- Teacher Looks like a finger print
- Bugscope Team this is a better view of ocelli
- Bugscope Team and this is a beetle's head -- a cleaner beetle than the last one
- Bugscope Team their mandibles open side to side, like a gate
- Bugscope Team you can also see that the antennae connect to the head in a ball-and-socket arrangement, like the human femur connects to the pelvis
- Bugscope Team you can see the compound eye quite well here
- Teacher What are the smaller projections?
Bugscope Team the smaller projections are the palps Scot talked about earlier (if they're the ones nearer to the bottom-center of the screen)
- Teacher Do they have full rotation of their antennae?
Bugscope Team i dont think they can rotate all the way around, but I'm not sure. Owls can do that with their heads.
- Bugscope Team this is pretty cool -- something we have not seen on ants in the past
- Bugscope Team because we are used to imaging stinkbugs, we think we recognize a similar function in these
- Bugscope Team where are these in the ant's abdomen?
Bugscope Team near the very end
- Teacher My students are a bit hungry. They can't decide if these look more like oyster crackers or banana slices.
- Bugscope Team hahaha i thnk oyster crackers
- Teacher What is the function?
Bugscope Team we do not know for sure, but we believe that this species of ants is one that produces formic acid to dissuade predators from eating it
Bugscope Team and we think that the ant does not like the formic acid any more than the predators do, so it has an absorbent area to keep the scent of the formic acid away from its antennae
- Bugscope Team hahaha
- Bugscope Team now I am hungry too
- Teacher Aren't there beetles who eat these types of ants in order to also protect themselves from predators.
Bugscope Team I don't know about eating ants to sequester the formic acid, but there are ground beetles that produce formic acid as a form of defense
Bugscope Team we know that horned toads have a formic acid requirement in their diets, and they eat ants. I imagine you are right about the beetles as well. We have seen that insects take advantage of any available option.
Bugscope Team there are also beetles that live in ants nests and eat the ants' larvae
- Bugscope Team formic a
- Bugscope Team formic acid was first distilled from red ants; that is where its name comes from
- Bugscope Team 'formica' is Latin for ant
- Bugscope Team these are brochosomes, which are actually nanoparticles
- Teacher They...
- Bugscope Team they are usually about 250 to 400 nm in diameter
- Bugscope Team we have never had a bombardier beetle in the'scope
- Teacher What is their function?
Bugscope Team they are said to help leafhoppers keep their eggs from drying out
- Bugscope Team we find brochosomes on lots of insects, but they are said to be produced only by leafhoppers
- Bugscope Team leafhoppers have what is termed an 'anointing behavior,' in which they spread brochosomes over their bodies
- Bugscope Team we are looking at particles that are smaller than the wavelengths of visible light (400 to 700 nm)
- Teacher Do they use their wings?
Bugscope Team I think they use their wings in a minimal fashion, like for short distance flying
- Teacher How do they spread the brochosomes?
Bugscope Team they use their limbs, which have little pads at the ends, with small claws as well
- Bugscope Team brochosomes are pretty light that they can travel to other insects pretty well
- Teacher I think it is the Bombadier beetle that eats ants and uses their formic acid as a defense. The shoot it out of their abdomens.
Bugscope Team hmm that could definitely be true. bombardier beetles are a subset of ground beetles, and they have the specialized chambers that mixes chemicals that react and create a high temperature causing the bursts
Bugscope Team there are also false bombadier beetles, and these beetles have formic and acetic acid as the main parts of their chemical defense
- Bugscope Team Bombardier beetles mix hydroquinones and hydrogen peroxide, I believe
Bugscope Team yup
- Teacher Is that why they think that the leafhopper is the only one that makes them? The ones that you see on other insects were spread to them?
Bugscope Team the people who study leafhoppers have told us that only leafhoppers produce brochosomes, in the Malpighian Tubules inside their bodies
- Bugscope Team Malpighian tubules are part of the excretory systems of some insects, and they have osmoregulatory functions as well as other specialized functions
- Teacher Does this just grasp aphids?
Bugscope Team this helps taste or smell food
- Bugscope Team osmoregulatory would mean, in this case, keeping a balance between liquids and salts inside the body
- Teacher Makes sense that the Malpighian tubules would create osmoregulatory structures for the eggs. Very interesting.
- Teacher Our class time is almost up. Thank you so much for your time and for answering our questions!
- Bugscope Team no problem!
- Bugscope Team thanks!
- Bugscope Team when we look at butterflies, we see the colors our eyes permit us to see, but butterflies can see other colors as well, in the UV
- Bugscope Team Thank You!
- Bugscope Team thanks!
- Bugscope Team the scales we are looking at now produce both pigment-based and structural colors
- Bugscope Team http://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2013-057
- Bugscope Team Bye! Thank you!