Connected on 2010-11-03 12:30:00 from Yarmouth, ME, US
- Bugscope Team welcome to Bugscope!
- Teacher Hi
- Bugscope Team Cathy you should now be able to drive the microscope. I just finished the presets
- Bugscope Team if you put your cursor on something within the image and click, the 'scope will center on that area
- Teacher I'm not seeing the controls I'm used to. OK, that worked. Will you be switching images?
- Bugscope Team you can also change the mag, focus, fix the contrast and brightness, and --- you can choose another place from among the presets and the 'scope will drive to that place
- Bugscope Team if you click on the arrow to the left you can see your choice of presets
- Bugscope Team so you can drive -- it's just different from how it used to be
- Teacher I see, that worked.
- Bugscope Team you're doing a good job already
- Bugscope Team you'll see that sometimes the presets have shifted a bit from how they were when we set them up
- Bugscope Team that lets you know that this is live imaging of a real sample
- Teacher OK, thanks, the students are coming in now. I think our Superintendent (former Chemistry teacher) may stop by
- Bugscope Team we still have some work to do with the interface, but the core is completed
- Bugscope Team Cool!
- Bugscope Team Cate made the sample today, and she put everything she could on the stub. Supplemented with a few things from our stock.
- Teacher It will be a few minutes while we get the kids settled - two classes so about 45 students.
- Bugscope Team Yay! Sounds good!
- Teacher What is on the screen right now?
- Bugscope Team this is near where we were, and I am not sure what it is, it is so round
- Bugscope Team sometimes we see tiny latex spheres, like from car tires, that land on insects
- Bugscope Team these are also on the beetle, but they don't belong to it
- Bugscope Team they are wing scales, likely from the monarch butterfly
- Bugscope Team you can also see microsetae -- tiny 'hairs' -- in the background
- Bugscope Team that is the ladybug's elytra -- the hard shell that protects the wings
- Bugscope Team ladybugs eat other insects, but generally small ones. they like aphids
- Bugscope Team this is one of the six claws at the ends of the legs
- Teacher Will - do they eat ants?
- Bugscope Team I am not sure. Some ants will spray predators with formic acid to avoid being bothered.
- Teacher Sam - how sharp are the ladybug''s claws?
Bugscope Team we can see that they are pretty sharp, but they are so tiny it would just tickle you - they could not pierce your skin.
- Teacher Sam - how many setae does a ladybug have?
Bugscope Team the setae are tiny hairs, some of which are sensory; and there are thousands
- Bugscope Team setae can be touch sensory, hot/cold sensory, or smell sensory
- Teacher Tom - Do praying mantis eat ladybugs?
Bugscope Team ladybugs actually taste bad to many insects. their color is a warning to birds and insects that they taste bad. so I am not sure if praying mantises like them, as food.
- Teacher Will ladybugs attack their predators in any way?
Bugscope Team if they can they will bite
- Teacher We're wondering what magnification we are on now?
- Bugscope Team we are looking at the ladybug from underneath; this is only 41x.
- Teacher Lily - How many colors of ladybugs are there?
Bugscope Team usually they are red with black dots, but sometimes you see yellowy ones
- Teacher Tierra - How many spots can ladybugs have?
Bugscope Team I am not sure -- I think from none to about 12.
- Teacher What is on the screen now, we think it is a mouth?
- Bugscope Team these are the mouthparts, yes!
- Bugscope Team there are mandibular and maxillary palps, and there are the mandibles themselves, which open from side to side
- Teacher Mouthparts ow what?
- Teacher oops, of what?
- Bugscope Team the big things that look like vacuum cleaner nozzles are palps
- Bugscope Team oh yeah -- this is the ladybug
- Bugscope Team its mouth is so small for a predator, but it does really like aphids, which are small and soft
- Teacher The mouth of the ladybug?
Bugscope Team yes!
- Teacher Justin - How many kinds of ladybugs are there in the world?
Bugscope Team there are said to be more than 5000 species of ladybugs in the world
- Bugscope Team palps are like little accessory mouthparts that help the ladybug feed by manipulating and tasting its food
- Teacher Quincy - How high can a ladybug fly?
Bugscope Team they are said to prefer high elevations, but they also do not like it when it is colder than about 55 degrees out, so they must not fly too high or they will get cold
- Teacher Luca - Can other insects get lice?
Bugscope Team they get mites and diseases; mites are kind of like lice to insects
- Bugscope Team this is a cute little fruit fly
- Teacher Noah - What are the hair-like spike things all over its body?
- Bugscope Team they are spines, or spikes, or setae that help it sense its surroundings, mostly
- Bugscope Team you could think of many of the spines as functioning like cat or rat whiskers in the dark
- Bugscope Team insects and similar arthropods do not have skin; instead they have a kind of shell
- Teacher Caroline - What it the thing that sticks out on the right? Is it the mouth?
Bugscope Team that is the mouth, but it is a little dry, not like it would be if the fruit fly was alive. it is a sponging mouthpart
- Teacher Kevin - How big can a ladybug get?
Bugscope Team I am not sure. I think they can get thumb-sized in the Tropics.
- Teacher Owen - how many species of beetles are there.
Bugscope Team there are several hundred thousand beetle species -- a huge number
- Bugscope Team ladybugs, from what I just read, can get no more than a centimeter long, but I am not sure about that.
- Teacher Catherine - isn't it hard for them to see out of all those eyes?
Bugscope Team their brains are well-suited to arrange all of the tiny images they see into a coherent whole
- Bugscope Team if you had compound eyes you would have better peripheral vision
- Teacher Nick - Can a praying mantis pierce our skin?
- Teacher Emily - Are there tiny hairs in its eye?
Bugscope Team yes there are! they are tiny sensory setae that help the fruit fly judge wind speed and direction
- Bugscope Team this is a portion of the wing of the dragonfly
- Teacher Jane - How do you as scientists catch insects that you can't actually see?
Bugscope Team entomologists, who study insects, use very fine nets, for one, to catch insects; they can also breed them in some cases, so they are around when the eggs hatch
- Bugscope Team sometimes insects are caught in liquid as well, in the bottom of a trap
- Teacher Jacob - How big can dragonfly wings get? The wing span?
- Teacher Michael - this looks more like a chain saw than a wing.
Bugscope Team yeah it is amazing -- the edge of the wing of the dragonfly; I wonder if it is protection against birds
- Bugscope Team dragonflies are one of the very fastest fliers, and they are also predators
- Bugscope Team dragonflies have four wings, as do bees and wasps; but bees and wasps hook the fore- and hindwings together when they fly, so it is more like having only two wings
- Teacher Nick - Praying Manis question - can they pierce human skin?
Bugscope Team I am sorry I missed that earlier. Big ones can.
- Teacher Brie - How many different kinds of moths are there?
- Teacher Hank - Why dragonfly nymphs live under water for 2 years?
Bugscope Team that is part of their lifecycle, and it is a very good way to get food, as a nymph. they are predators in the water as well
- Bugscope Team dragonfly nymphs are fierce and will even eat other dragonfly nymphs
- Bugscope Team it is said that larvae can live in the water for 5 years; I think it depends on where they live.
- Teacher Ellie - Is that really the cricket head, it looks like a rock? Is it missing some parts?
Bugscope Team certainly it is missing one of its antennae, isn't it?
- Bugscope Team and you can see that some of its palps are broken. I think it had a hard life.
- Bugscope Team you can see its compound eyes, and the front of its head, of course, and its tiny mandibles
- Teacher Caroline-Why is the head so bumpy?
Bugscope Team you know I think it is because there are so many moving parts, and also, if you think about it, it is slow -- it does not need to be streamlined so that it can fly swiftly, for example.
- Teacher John - How slow can the slowest insect go?
Bugscope Team they can really take their time -- think about a walking stick, or a leaf mimic
- Teacher Brie - How many kinds of moths are there?
Bugscope Team there are perhaps 150,000 to 250,000 species, from what I read
- Bugscope Team this is how insects breathe -- through these kind of ducts called spiracles
- Teacher Ella - What is the biggest insect in the world?
Bugscope Team walking sticks can get to be 14 or 15 inches long, and stretched out they can be maybe 22 inches; some beetles, like the Goliath Beetle, are as big as your fist
- Teacher Adrianna - Why doesn't the cricket have a nose or lungs?
Bugscope Team they have a different way of distributing oxygen to their organs, and we are lucky in a way that they are not as efficient as we are. Because I believe the way they breathe keeps them from getting super large.
- Teacher Lauren - Is there only one type of firefly?
Bugscope Team there are said to be 2000 species of firefly
- Teacher Class - what is the importance of lice, ticks, and cockroaches since we think they are a nuisance.
Bugscope Team they help recycle things, for one, and they may serve as food for species we would like to have around, like frogs and lizards; sometimes it is surprising how they fit into the web of life, and if they are missing, something we might have taken for granted would not be able to survive. an obvious example is bees, but many other insects may also serve as pollinators, or as essential part of a diet of something we like
- Teacher Jane - This spiracle looks like a spring bent out of shape, what is that for?
Bugscope Team the spiracle has to have filter-like qualities, and it can also be closed, if the insect wants to 'hold its breath'
- Bugscope Team I am sorry this is so bright -- it is charging up with electrons
- Bugscope Team this is the proboscis -- the 'tongue' of the monarch
- Bugscope Team the proboscis is coiled for flying but can then extend like a straw for feeding
- Bugscope Team Monarchs like to eat milkweed, which is toxic to many other species
- Teacher How long can a proboscis get? Quincy
Bugscope Team depending on the species, they can get a few centimeters long -- they might have to reach deep into a flower to extract the nectar
- Bugscope Team these are simple eyes on the head of the caterpillar
- Bugscope Team some simple eyes register light and that's it -- some of them do not focus light, for example
- Bugscope Team wasps and bees and flies have extra eyes on top of their heads called 'ocelli.' There are usually three of them, fairly close together and in a triangle pattern. They help flying insects keep their orientation, using the sun.
- Teacher Do you have any cockroach samples? Michael
- Teacher We read about a heat swarm of bees, how hot can a heat swarm get? Will
Bugscope Team I am not sure -- I read that they can keep a temperature of 34 C, which is not as warm as our body temperature.
- Bugscope Team bees have to be able to stay warm but also not get too hot
- Teacher Class - We bought a book at our school book fair called "Micro Monsters" . We thought it must have been written by the Bugscope team.
Bugscope Team cool!
- Teacher Kendrick - Do all insects have compound eyes?
Bugscope Team not all insects have compound eyes, and even the quality of compound eyes is not the same; some can see UV light. some insects do not have eyes -- for example some species of ants do not need eyes but get the information they need using their antennae
- Teacher Do you know how many stripes there are on a yellow jacket? Sofia
Bugscope Team I think it varies; some have two large yellow stripes, which kind of surprises me
- Teacher How do fireflies make their light? Nick
Bugscope Team they have a chemical called luciferase that makes light when it is combined with oxygen; they can control that and it is helpful when they are advertising for mates, or when they are using the light to let other things know that they taste bad
- Teacher Why Scot?
Bugscope Team I just thought there were more until I checked
- Teacher We were wondering why an electron microscope picture isn't in color.
Bugscope Team the image comes to us as signal rather than light; the electrons are much smaller than the wavelengths of light. when we use the electron microscope we are beaming electrons at the samples, and what comes back are secondary electrons from the surface of the sample; if a lot of secondary electrons come back the image is brighter.
- Teacher Can a dragonfly claw take off your fingernail? Sam
Bugscope Team no they are so tiny; I don't think they can hurt you
- Teacher We learned a lot today: one thing is that there are many species of fireflies & moths & beetles.
Bugscope Team there are a huge number of species of beetles in particular
- Teacher Kendrick - Do compound eyes have different shapes or all they all six sides?
Bugscope Team they are generally but not always six-sided. sometimes four or five
- Teacher A big thank you from all of us for all your research and quick responses!!
Bugscope Team Thank You!
- Teacher Good bye, we will look at the specimens more on our laptops.
- Bugscope Team That was fun! Thank You! And see you next year!
- Bugscope Team https://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2010-085