Connected on 2014-06-23 10:15:00 from Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
- Bugscope Team sample is pumping down for this morning's session with Millbury Street Elementary School.
- Bugscope Team good morning!
- Bugscope Team making presets now
- Bugscope Team I guess you can tell...
- Bugscope Team 2F I wil
- Bugscope Team I will be away for a few minutes, then back to finish presets. You have control now.
- Bugscope Team I'm back!
- Bugscope Team this is a cool sample of critters today
- Bugscope Team we are done setting up but may add a few more...
- Bugscope Team conehead!
- Bugscope Team now we're back on the wasp, which has an eye in the middle of its forehead as well as two on the sides and two more at the top of its head.
- Bugscope Team wasps are related to bees and ants, so they often look similar
- Bugscope Team please let us know when you have questions, and when you might need help driving
- Teacher ok we're here and ready to go!
- Bugscope Team yay!
- Bugscope Team this is a small wasp, and you can see its compound eyes on either side of its head
- Teacher why do wasps have big eyes
- Bugscope Team plus the dot in the middle of its head, also an eye, called an 'ocellus.'
- Bugscope Team they need to be able to see well, and if they have big rounded eyes like that they can see around them without turning their heads
- Teacher what type of wasp is it
Bugscope Team not sure, I'm sorry
- Teacher why do wasps sting
Bugscope Team they do it to protect themselves or the nest or hive
- Teacher what do wasps eat
Bugscope Team they like sugary things, like the nectar from flowers
- Teacher what are the things coming out below the eyes
Bugscope Team those are the antennae -- the long rod-like things
- Bugscope Team we can see the mandibles, too -- the jaws
- Teacher do wasps have a mouth
Bugscope Team this is the mouth, the outside of the mouth.
Bugscope Team the mandibles, or jaws, open side to side like a gate
- Teacher how long do wasps survive
Bugscope Team I think the average age is about 6 weeks
- Bugscope Team some wasps are parasitic, and they sting their prey to make it so it cannot move; then they lay eggs in their prey's body
- Teacher when a wasp stings someone do they always dies
Bugscope Team wasps can sting repeatedly because unlike honeybees their stingers do not get caught in mammalian skin
- Bugscope Team now we see lots of mites living on the wasp
- Bugscope Team all of the rounded things in the lower part of where we are looking now
- Bugscope Team remember that if you wish you can select from any of the presets on the lefthand screen
- Bugscope Team wasps and many other flying insects have simple eyes -- the small ocelli -- on the tops of their heads. The ocelli help keep them oriented with the sun, and where they are in a field, for example.
- Bugscope Team this is a tiny moth, from my house
- Bugscope Team its eyes are red, but with the scanning electron microscope we cannot see color
- Bugscope Team see its very round eyes?
- Bugscope Team moths and butterflies, as well as silverfish and mosquitoes, have lots of scales on their bodies. One important purpose of the scales is to help them get away if they get caught in spider webs.
- Teacher why is the moth so hairy
Bugscope Team some of the things that look like hairs are scales
- Teacher what is the heart shaped thing on its back
Bugscope Team that is where its forelegs are folded together
- Teacher what are the pointy things coming out of the eyes
Bugscope Team those are setae (hairs) that help the moth sense its environment; they may be mechanosensory, meaning they are touch sensitive like cat or rat whiskers
- Teacher why are there so many circles on its eyes
Bugscope Team those are the lenses; they provide tiny images; one very useful thing about that is they make the moth very sensitive to motion in its visual field
- Bugscope Team the circles are called ommatidia
- Teacher why can't female moths fly
Bugscope Team they can fly unless they've lost too many scales
- Bugscope Team you can tell males from females, often, because the males have very ornate antennae, whereas those of the females are plain
- Bugscope Team this is a stinkbug, which is one of the 'true bugs"
- Bugscope Team true bugs feed by poking their probosces into plants or fruits
- Teacher do stinkbugs really stink
Bugscope Team yes they do! and they do not like their own smell either
- Teacher why is the stinkbug so spiky looking
Bugscope Team spikiness probably protects it from being eaten easily before it can produce its bad scent
- Teacher how do stinkbugs stink
Bugscope Team they have glands a bit further down, on the ventral side where the legs are
- Teacher how do you know they don't like their smell
Bugscope Team they have little organelles that help suck up the odor so they don't have to smell it. it's interesting, because if they thought they smelled great they might not consider their smell a weapon, or a means of protection from predators
- Bugscope Team the gland openings are here, between the legs, but they are hard to see on this stinkbug because it has a film of dried fluid there
- Teacher are the balls on the side of it's head eyes or ears
Bugscope Team those are compound eyes, like the moth's compound eyes
- Bugscope Team this is the opening of one of the stink glands, but it is messy, covered with juju
- Teacher how big are stinkbugs usually
Bugscope Team maybe around as big as your thumb's nail or a little bigger
- Teacher what's juju
Bugscope Team it's what we call the dried fluids and stuff we don't recognize
- Bugscope Team this is the tip of the proboscis, which it sticks into plants
- Teacher what do stinkbugs eat
Bugscope Team they suck sap and other fluids from plants, and they use their long proboscis to stick into the plants to do that
- Bugscope Team the bent things we see now are a couple of the stylets, or laciniae, they use to cut into plants
- Teacher what do stinkbugs do that's good for the earth
Bugscope Team they help things decompose, break down, and some other insects and birds eat them, so they provide food
- Teacher what are the curvy things
Bugscope Team those are the cutting mouthparts
- Bugscope Team you can see that this one has serrations on it that help it cut into plants
- Bugscope Team they are very much like stingers
- Bugscope Team fleas have cutting mouthparts like this
- Bugscope Team sometimes we think a certain insect or plant or animal is useless, and even dangerous, but we don't always realize that it serves a purpose
- Bugscope Team this is so awesome!
- Bugscope Team this is a very flat beetle's head, and in its jaws we see a mite!
- Teacher this is really cool!
- Teacher what is the powdery looking stuff on it's back
Bugscope Team it seems to be dried mud
- Teacher why does it's mouth look like a claw
Bugscope Team that's how it bites into things and begins the chewing process. it's also good for defending itself
- Bugscope Team further down on the body are more mites
- Bugscope Team if you eat crabs at all you can play with the mechanism that opens and closes the claw
- Teacher how do the claws move
Bugscope Team there is a tendon that gets pulled back that closes the claw. they release the tendon to open it
Bugscope Team the tendon has a funny name; its called an 'unguitractor.'
- Teacher do they only eat mites or do they eat other things
Bugscope Team it is unclear whether the beetle was really eating the mite or the mite crawled into its mouth to steal some food
- Teacher can we see the other mites
Bugscope Team here we go
- Bugscope Team the mites are very similar to ticks
- Teacher where do these beetles live
Bugscope Team I am sorry -- we got these very flat beetles from the entomologists, and we do not have any of them with us today to help answer that question
- Teacher is this the abdomen of the beetle
Bugscope Team yes! this is the tip of the abdomen
- Bugscope Team today we have another type of mite on the wasp we had seen earlier; we really got lucky today
- Bugscope Team the mites dont
- Teacher do they jump or walk
Bugscope Team they walk; they have I think six little legs, but I don't think they are insects
- Bugscope Team the mites dont have those jumping legs that flees have, which are likespringy legs like grasshoppers and crickets.
- Teacher does the bite hurt really bad
Bugscope Team they are so small that we would not feel it if they were able to bite us; I'm not sure they bite anyway
- Teacher should we go back to the wasp to see the other mites
Bugscope Team it would be cool to see how they are different
- Teacher what are the mites doing to the beetle
Bugscope Team they might live symbiotically with the beetle. maybe they help keep it clean.
- Teacher why does it look like it has a hole or opening at the tip of the abdomen
Bugscope Team the abdomen is indeed open there; we see that with bees and wasps sometimes; it may be that when the insect dies the body flexes and what would normally be closed is open
- Bugscope Team this is what the tip of the abdomen looks like on one of the wasps, plus we can see its stinger, which is broken
- Teacher why did the beetle look slimy
Bugscope Team it may not be the beetle's fault. we got these specimens in liquid, and some of the liquid stuck to the specimens
- Teacher are we looking at the other mites on the wasp?
Bugscope Team no, what we see here are bumps from dried liquid. kind of like water spots
- Bugscope Team now we are going to see the mites on the wasp
- Teacher cool, we can see the mites
- Bugscope Team these are little bruisers
- Bugscope Team they have thick little arms and legs
- Bugscope Team they look like they are dancing
- Bugscope Team we can also see one of the wasp's claws, to the right
- Teacher hip hop??
Bugscope Team haha Yes I think so
- Teacher wasps have claws?
Bugscope Team yes! we find that many insects have claws
- Teacher are the claws at the end of the legs
Bugscope Team yes always
- Bugscope Team there are two claws here, kind of clasped together, and we see the rampant mite in the back, to the left
- Teacher why does it look like the wasp is rough
Bugscope Team sometimes the roughness makes the exoskeleton tougher; it may also help keep bacteria from growing on it; it sometimes also produces a shiny color
- Teacher what are the spikes in front of the mite
Bugscope Team those are hairs on the wasp. they are for sense of touch most likely. most hairs you see on insects are for sense of touch
- Teacher what does rampant mean
Bugscope Team it means up on its hind legs. it's a kind of a joke from heraldry, from those families in England, for example, with family crests with, for example, 'two lions rampant.'
- Bugscope Team we can see that this mite has lots of infoldings in its body; that allows it to feed a lot and to swell up, like a tick
- Teacher oh we thought it might be because it was going crazy on the wasp but we werent sure
Bugscope Team it looks like it; we could have said it was running amok
- Teacher so its not just old and wrinkled
Bugscope Team haha!
Bugscope Team it's young and wrinkled...
- Teacher the mite's head looks like an anteater. is that what it is using to eat
Bugscope Team that's another claw, and/or palp. their mouths are very small
- Teacher where is the mite's head
Bugscope Team often the head is very small, or more likely the body is a cephalothorax, meaning the head and body are one piece, like a spider
- Bugscope Team so we see this tiny part between the front legs, and we think it must be the head, but its head may be fused into its body
- Teacher why does it look like a hand
- Teacher how do mites eat
Bugscope Team some of them seem to chew their food, but many of them we think must absorb the food as fluids, for example they may feed on hemolymph (insect blood) that squeezes through the insect's joints
- Teacher so are they arachnids
Bugscope Team I think they are related but I am not sure; there is little information online, and the book about them is very expensive; I want to see it before spending the money on it
- Teacher we'll try to find out and let you know
- Teacher what do mites eat
Bugscope Team some eat flakes of skin -- dustmites do that; and some seem to live on scraps and fluids like hemolymph
- Teacher looks like a squid!
Bugscope Team haha Yeah!
- Bugscope Team its eyes are streamlined into the sides of its head
- Teacher are those little knobby things eyes
Bugscope Team no those are the antennae.
- Teacher why is the head so pointy
Bugscope Team it looks like the head has ribs in it similar to the ribs on the head of a cicada, so I bet that part of that shape is due to muscles inside that help the leafhopper suck sap and other fluids into its proboscis and thus into its mouth
- Teacher so is this the bottom of it's body or the top
Bugscope Team we are looking at the ventral (underside) of the head-end. this is essentially the face of the leafhopper
- Teacher is the head like a leaf to help it camoflage
Bugscope Team yes I think you are right about that
- Teacher is that the mouth at the bottom of the pointy part, between the two legs
Bugscope Team it's between the two front legs near the bottom of the screen.
- Teacher where are the eyes
Bugscope Team they are on the sides, rounded and sticking out a little
- Bugscope Team now we can see the eyes, on either side, and one of the antennae, and most of the proboscis, which is blunt
- Teacher so the antennae are on the underside?
Bugscope Team yes in this case they are
- Bugscope Team see the eye facets now, below the antenna?
- Teacher oh now we can see the antennae, thanks!
Bugscope Team it's a thin one
- Bugscope Team leafhoppers are a little different in that they produce tiny spheres from their bodies, called brochosomes, that they coat the outside of their bodies with
- Teacher what do they eat
Bugscope Team they suck the juices from leaves
- Teacher do they hop
Bugscope Team yes like little grasshoppers, kind of
- Bugscope Team if you brush your hand over a bush with leafhoppers in it they will spring upwards
- Bugscope Team now we are looking at something on the nanoscale
- Bugscope Team the spheres we see that look like Trix, or Kix, are brochosomes
- Teacher thanks so much! this was really awesome! we are off to recess now
Bugscope Team Thank you!
- Bugscope Team See you next year!
- Teacher for sure!
- Bugscope Team http://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2014-020
- Bugscope Team this is your member page for today
- Bugscope Team good bye!
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