Connected on 2010-06-16 13:00:00 from South Grafton, MA, US
- Guest Hi
- Guest hi
- Bugscope Team Hey Ben. We're just waiting for the class to join us
- Bugscope Team yes the class is due on at 1 p.m. our time
- Bugscope Team hihi
- Bugscope Team hihi Cate
- Bugscope Team Junebug!
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Teacher Hi Scott, kids are at recess, just getting ready
Bugscope Team Cool!
- Bugscope Team yay
- Bugscope Team glad to see you! we may have a couple of guests today
- Teacher great! i'm trying to remember how to operate the microscope
- Bugscope Team you should see controls to the right of the image window
- Teacher got it
- Bugscope Team and you should see presets beneath that, that you can click on
- Bugscope Team sometimes the screen resolution has to be changed but looks like you are seeing the whole Bugscope interface
- Bugscope Team mites are softbodied and often look a bit shriveled, like this
- Teacher okay
- Teacher i have to leave for a minute to get kids settled. be back in 5
- Bugscope Team cool
- Teacher hi we're here
- Bugscope Team Yay!
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Teacher thanks, we're excited
- Bugscope Team Let us know whenever you have questions.
- Bugscope Team this is a tiny mite -- one of many on the carrion beetle
- Bugscope Team its head is to the right
- Teacher what is the smallest thing an electron microscope can see
Bugscope Team a few of the newest transmission electron microscopes can see atoms
Bugscope Team the microscope can see things as small as 2 nanometers when set up right
- Teacher what color is this insect
Bugscope Team the main body of the beetle is black (we aren't sure the color of the mite) and the back shell of the beetle is black with some orange
- Bugscope Team with this microscope we can see things that are about 2 billionths of a meter across
- Teacher what are the spiky things
Bugscope Team the spikey things are setae -- kind of like hairs -- that help the insect sense its environment
- Teacher what is the thing in the center of the screen
Bugscope Team I think that is a piece of dirt or dust- something that is not part of the insect
- Bugscope Team yes as Cate says we often see dirt, and we certainly see a lot of tiny hairs, which in insects are often called 'setae.'
- Bugscope Team this is a butterfly's head
- Teacher how big and what kind of butterfly
Bugscope Team this is one of the bigger types of butterflies- a painted lady, they are big like monarchs
- Teacher is the coiled thing on the right a proboscis
Bugscope Team yes it is!
- Bugscope Team the compound eye is the round thing to the left
- Teacher do you know how long the proboscis is
Bugscope Team we aren't sure how long for this butterfly but I found that the hawk or Sphinx moths (adults of the hornworms), sometimes mistaken for hummingbirds, have the longest proboscis, with lengths up to 35 centimeters (14 inches) reported.
- Teacher we raised painted ladies, monarchs, lady bugs and a cecropia moth!
- Bugscope Team I think the proboscis is about a cm long.
- Teacher do you constantly look at things on your microscope
Bugscope Team The microscope is in a multi-user facility, so that means that people from all over the university come to use the microscope throughout the day. We work with them on the microscope to train them and whenever they need help, but other times we let them work alone
- Teacher what is the dark thing on the left
- Bugscope Team that was, I believe, either a claw or an antenna
- Teacher can you explain how the compound eye works
Bugscope Team A compound eye is actually a collection of many smaller, very simple, eyes. Each one sees a very poor image, but their brain puts together all of the information to produce useful vision
- Teacher sounds like a very cool job
- Teacher how many little eyes are on the compond eye
Bugscope Team maybe 5000 little lenses per dome-shaped eye
- Teacher can this kind of microscope see a germ
- Teacher can the mircroscope see bacteria
Bugscope Team yes it can!
- Bugscope Team see the micron bar, on the lower left?
- Teacher yes
- Bugscope Team that is 5 bacteria long
- Teacher cool
- Teacher what are the tubelike things in the background
Bugscope Team those are setae (bug hairs) that specialized in helping the insect walk on walls
- Teacher what is the stuff coming out of the right side of the pollen
Bugscope Team every pollen grain has the components within it that fertilize the flowers they land on, and that is where they come out
- Teacher what is a butterfly scale
Bugscope Team they are the same stuff that makes the wings feel velvety and comes off on your fingers as powder. They are analogous to feathers on a bird
- Teacher how many scales on a butterfly wing
Bugscope Team I'm sure it varies from species to species, but you can easily estimate that it's in the thousands.
- Bugscope Team Our non-compound eye has one lens that focuses a single image on our retina where we have a dense collection of light-sensitive cells that capture our whole field of vision. Although it gives us great vision, it is more complex, requires more space (the eye has to be round), and is more fragile
- Teacher how much electron microscope costs
Bugscope Team This electron microscope cost about $650,000 initially, but we have added lots of equipment to it since and just keeping it running throughout the year requires tens of thousands more in service contracts and supplies
- Teacher what is on the left side of the slide
Bugscope Team that is part of the wing that the scales are attached to. It is made of a very thin layer of chitin (the same stuff as our fingernails are made of)
- Teacher whata are the black spots on the scales
Bugscope Team Those are actually holes, so the black is like shadow. The scale has lots of holes like that so that it can be strong but stay light and not weight the insect down
- Teacher wow! be careful with it
- Teacher what are the rows in the scale
Bugscope Team The rows are ribs, they are a structural support similar to what makes I-beams strong. Again, they are there to allow it to be strong but light
- Teacher what are the black things in the background
Bugscope Team The dark line-shapes in the background are cracks in the surface of the tape or paint that's holding the sample down
- Teacher wjat are the feather like things
Bugscope Team those are longer scales found on the mosquito.
- Bugscope Team now we are looking at the claw, of course, and we see streaking on the image from the microscope. the streaking is from the electrons that are charging the sample up with electricity.
- Teacher did the mosquito bit you
Bugscope Team this is actually a male mosquito, so they don't actually bite and drink blood like a female mosquito. Only the females bite because they need the blood in order to lay their eggs.
- Teacher why is it called a claw, is it like a bird claw
Bugscope Team "Claw" is not a technical term for it, we just use that because yes it does have a lot of similarity to a bird claw. They both have sharp appendages they can use to grasp onto their surroundings
- Bugscope Team Electrons are the charged particles responsible for the flow of electricity. If the sample's metal coating isn't perfect, the electrons (electricity) can't flow and so it builds up, eventually resulting in distortions to the image
- Teacher why is a mosquito called a mosquito
Bugscope Team it's spanish for little fly= mosca is fly and ito is little
- Teacher how sharp is the claw
Bugscope Team the claw is very sharp but also very small, so it would not be capable of piercing your skin, for example
- Teacher where is the mosquito head
Bugscope Team hey good job!
- Bugscope Team entomology is the study of insects, and etymology is the study of word origins. Cate just gave you the etymology of 'mosquito.'
- Teacher we found it!
- Teacher what the little spheres
- Bugscope Team you can see that is has fewer eye facets than the butterfly
- Teacher what are t he hair like things on the right'
Bugscope Team the wavy, smaller hairlike things on the right are the fine branches of the antenna
- Teacher what are the fringe like things on the left
Bugscope Team those are scales, like the butterfly has. moths, butterflies, silverfish, mosquitoes, and very few other insects have scales
- Bugscope Team or antennae, in this case
- Teacher what are the two things that point to the right that are thicker than the other hairy things
Bugscope Team the lower one is the tube that is the proboscis, and the upper, thinner one is one of the palps, which are accessory mouthparts
- Teacher where is the body part that sucks the blood
Bugscope Team if this was a female mosuito, the proboscis would have a bundle of leaflike/tubelike things in it that are together called the 'fascicle.' That is what is inside the sheath of the proboscis.
- Teacher and how do they pierce your skin
Bugscope Team they have these serrated mouthparts (like a steak knife) that are in the proboscis and they cut into your skin so that the feeding tube (which is also in the proboscis) can go in and suck out the blood
- Teacher how does blood help the female have babies
Bugscope Team The blood is full of nutrients, so it's just like a big meal
- Teacher is the flat sphere with all the little spheres the head
Bugscope Team yes! it looks like a large oval in this view. the small round thing that looks like a cushion on the head is called the pedicel, and it is the base of one of the antennae.
- Teacher how can you tell a boy from a girl
Bugscope Team the boys have very ornate and orderly antennae, whereas those of the female have a simpler appearance.
- Teacher where are the eyes
Bugscope Team the eyes are the bumpy parts that cover most of the head- they have compound eyes, which just means their eyes are made of many different facets (like a diamond) called ommatidia
- Teacher how big are the babies when they are born
Bugscope Team I am not sure how big they are. The eggs hatch in water, and the larval mosquito is soon nearly the size of an adult mosquito.
- Teacher we had ladybug larva!
Bugscope Team neat!
- Teacher what are the spiky things along the bck
Bugscope Team they are projections that we think are protective, kind of like thorns on the back that help keep the ladybug larva from getting eaten.
- Teacher what is the tube going to the left
- Teacher what are the hairlike projections underneath
Bugscope Team we are not sure, but usually when we see hairlike projections they are sensory setae that help the insect feel or taste its surroundings, or even feel its own body as it bends.
- Teacher what is the best habitat for female mosquitos to lay eggs
Bugscope Team they can lay eggs in a thimbleful of water - in a very small quantity of water. but it might be better to live in a slow-moving stream so there is more to eat as a larva.
- Teacher what do you ladybug larva eat
Bugscope Team the larvae eat aphids
- Teacher chandler thinks the hairlike projections look like udders
Bugscope Team they do! like spikey udders
- Teacher why is it so lumpy
Bugscope Team the background is lumpy from the silver paint we used to stick the sample more firmly to the stub, and the larva is lumpy in part to make it less edible.
- Teacher sorry we got kicked off, i'm junebug2 now.
- Teacher what is the light colored band around the long thing pointing to the right
Bugscope Team that is either the femur or the condyle -- one of the segments of the leg close to the body
- Bugscope Team hey no problem, sorry that happened. we gave you control
- Teacher the lumps look blubber says emma
Bugscope Team yes they do!
- Bugscope Team this is a small fly
- Bugscope Team with flies sometimes you can tell the girls from the boys because with boys the eyes are very close together
- Teacher how big can the biggest fly get
Bugscope Team wow I am not sure, but a cranefly gets pretty big -- they look like giant mosquitoes but are harmless
- Teacher what is this one
Bugscope Team this may be a tiny housefly
- Teacher what is in the background
Bugscope Team the background is double stick carbon tape with some silver paint under the insects to help glue the insects to the specimen holder
- Teacher what is the bent thing behind the eyes
- Teacher is the part behind the bent thing where the wing attaches
- Teacher sophia says the fly looks like a pig
Bugscope Team it would be so sad to hear thart
- Teacher how many smaller eyes in this compound eyes
Bugscope Team it looks like there are a few thousand per eye.
- Bugscope Team that
- Bugscope Team the flu also has simple eyes called ocelli on top of its head. there are three of those
- Teacher molly says it looks likje the fly has an elephant trunk
- Bugscope Team oops the fly, I mean
- Teacher how do you catch the insects
Bugscope Team often we catch them by putting a plastic cup over them, and then sliding a piece of paper or thin cardboard under that
- Bugscope Team the bent thing is one of the forelegs, and it is attached to the thorax, which the wing is attached to as well
- Teacher what are the things at the front of the head
Bugscope Team those are the antennae, on the front of the head to the right
- Teacher how do you prepare them for the microscope
Bugscope Team Most of the hard-bodied insects only need to be dried out after they die. Then they are stuck down to the sample stub and coated with an ultra-thin layer of metal in a Sputter Coater. After that they're ready to load into the microscope
- Bugscope Team and this is a pollen grain, kind of like a cell with cytoplasm coming out of the side
- Bugscope Team and of course this is a beetle!
- Teacher what are the things near the eyes
- Bugscope Team in the front of the head, facing us, are the mouthparts -- the mandibles and the palps. you can also see the antennae, coming out of the center, top of the head
- Teacher what are the point things- mouth parts
Bugscope Team the little pointy things are palps, which are accessory mouthparts the insect uses to both taste and manipulate its food
- Teacher is that the thorax in the bottom third of the screen
Bugscope Team yep that's right
- Teacher do all bugs have compound eyes
Bugscope Team most do yes
- Bugscope Team when they are caterpillars, if they go through that stage, they have simple eyes called stemmata, perhaps 10 of them.
- Teacher we have to pack up to go home. thanks so much for your help. we loved all the pictures and the interesting facts. see you next year.
Bugscope Team thanks for hanging out with us and using bugscope!
- Bugscope Team Thank You!]
- Bugscope Team great questions from you all!
- Teacher thanks, by
- Bugscope Team Bye!
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