Connected on 2012-10-22 15:00:00 from Alameda, California, United States
- Bugscope Team sample is pumping down
- Bugscope Team almost there...
- Bugscope Team one more tenth of a millibar
- Bugscope Team making presets now
- Bugscope Team we are ready to roll
- Bugscope Team Hello!
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Teacher my students are coming in now. Will take 5 minutes to explain and get on a roll! We will use our 30 minutes wisely for the first session!
- Bugscope Team totally cool
- Bugscope Team this is a closeup of a fly's head, with its compound eye to the left and the vestiture on the front of the head to the right
- Bugscope Team it's the other electron microscope that is down now
- Teacher great samples! Glad the scope is working!
Bugscope Team Thank you. We are happy as well.
- Bugscope Team now you can see the fly'
- Bugscope Team s head, most of it
- Bugscope Team the pointy things at the top of the head are where part of the antennal structure broke off
- Bugscope Team the mouthparts are to the right, in that dark opening between the eyes
- Bugscope Team this fly's claws are busted off, at least its foreclaws
- Bugscope Team flies and all insects as well as most arthropods are covered with small hairs/bristles/spines that are sensory
- Bugscope Team insects are invertebrates, meaning that they do not have backbones
- Teacher we are confused about where the mouth parts are - can you "drive" us there?
Bugscope Team yes
- Bugscope Team this is the tongue -- houseflies and lots of other flies have sponging mouthparts
- Bugscope Team because it is dry, it is difficult to make out any features, but the rounded part is part of its musculature
- Teacher why a sponging mouthpart?
Bugscope Team they dissolve food items with their saliva and then sponge them up
- Bugscope Team this is the head of one of the wasps
- Bugscope Team you can see that the wasp has mandibles, like the ants, which they are related to
- Bugscope Team the mandibles open side to side rather than up and down like ours
- Bugscope Team in humans the lower jaw is the mandible and the upper jaw is the maxilla
- Bugscope Team insects also have, often, four palps that are accessory mouthparts
- Teacher are the mandibles hard or soft tissue?
Bugscope Team they're hard
- Bugscope Team the mandibles are made of chitin, and part of the insect's exoskeleton, which is mostly made of chitin
- Bugscope Team it's like a shrimp shell
- Bugscope Team because insects have shells like that -- the exoskeleton is a shell -- they need to have all of the tiny hairs -- the setae -- to sense their environment
- Teacher what is the purpose of the holes or pores?
Bugscope Team the pores are where hairs come out usually. When hairs aren't coming out, pores are usually for some chemical purpose
- Bugscope Team the setae stick through the chitin and connect to nerves underneath
- Bugscope Team some of the setae are mechanosensory, some are thermosensory, some are chemosensory, and some serve other purposed
- Bugscope Team purposes..
- Bugscope Team insect scales are modified setae
- Bugscope Team pollen grain to the right, there
- Teacher do the setae grow back once they break?
Bugscope Team no. if the insect still has molts left, it can grow back limbs that were previously broken.
- Bugscope Team it's one of those funny bilobed pollen grains
- Bugscope Team once an insect grows wings, that is the end of its molts; it is now an adult
- Bugscope Team this is a fly, which wasps and bees are not. flies have two wings and halteres to balance them; wasps, bees, and flying ants (usually the males), have four wings
- Teacher Are these the eyes?
Bugscope Team the big round things at the bottom of the image as we see it now
- Bugscope Team the part sticking up is the mouth
- Bugscope Team those are compound eyes, which have hundreds to thousands of individual facets, or lenses, called ommatidia
- Teacher What kind of mouth structures are these?
Bugscope Team they're the same as those of the housefly we saw but in better shape
- Bugscope Team the palps are busted off, though
- Bugscope Team those two holes are where the palps were extended; they were the jointed parts of the palps
- Bugscope Team the mass of confusion in the middle of the head here is the mouth
- Guest What are palps?
Bugscope Team palps are accessory mouthparts; usually there are two sets. they help the insect taste (because they have chemosensory setae on them) and manipulate its food
- Bugscope Team this is one of the grasshopper's claws
- Bugscope Team grasshoppers have something called an arolium that helps them stick to surfaces
- Bugscope Team compared to the tenent setae that flies and many beetles have
- Guest Can the grasshoppers tear things apart with their claws?
- Teacher What is considered the claw? Is it segmented or whole?
Bugscope Team the claw is the part at the end that can grab things. the end of the arm is called the tarsus
- Teacher Can we have 10 more mins.?
Bugscope Team yes you can!
- Bugscope Team or leg I suppose
- Bugscope Team the last five segments of one of the 'arms' or legs are called tarsi, or tarsomeres
- Bugscope Team the claws are at the tip of the terminal, or distal, tarsomere
- Bugscope Team yay so pretty!
- Guest are you able to tell how insects die? like an insect autopsy?
Bugscope Team we don't usually, but you have to do it while they are fresh. When they dry out then their insides pretty much become dust when you cut them open
- Teacher What are we looking at?
Bugscope Team those are setae that are modified with sticky tips that help the fly cling to surfaces
- Teacher is it on the legs or stomach?
Bugscope Team the pulvillus, with all of the tenent setae on it, is on the distalmost tarsomere, often near the claws like this
- Bugscope Team some beetles, like ladybugs, also have pads of tenent setae, which is what the pulvillus is (a pad) lining the last few tarsi
- Bugscope Team some of the bristle-like setae are used for proprioception
- Guest do all bugs have hair for sensing their environment?
Bugscope Team I think we could say yes. They may also have sensillae, such as placoid sensillae, that may hold chemoreceptors or surface sensors
- Teacher we not able to load the cercopods
Bugscope Team we cannot do it either, but I can drive the 'scope from here if you want
- Bugscope Team sometimes the presets do not work, not sure why
- Teacher we are doing one last image and then logging off - tell us about the haltere
- Bugscope Team this is one of the long halteres, on the cranefly
- Teacher :O)
- Teacher is it attached to the insect?
- Bugscope Team halteres are weighted counterbalances to the motion of the two wings in Diptera -- the flies
- Bugscope Team they beat with a motion opposite that of the wings and work kind of like gyroscopes to maintain the fly's equilibrium in the air
- Bugscope Team insects with four wings like bees, wasps, and dragonflies do not have halteres
- Bugscope Team so that means that dragonflies are not Diptera
- Bugscope Team insects have all of these sensory setae because unlike us they do not have skin -- it's more like wearing a suit of armor
- Teacher we are trying to see how high the mag can get
Bugscope Team it can go over 200,000x but no higher than that for publishable images. here we limit the resolution so we can see more of the insects' bodies at low mag
- Guest Do bugs sleep at night? Where do they sleep?
Bugscope Team they don't sleep like us, but they do enter a period of rest like fish, where they can be active and flee at any moment
- Guest do insects get cold or hot? how does temperature affect them?
Bugscope Team they get cold and hot. the tiny setae, called microsetae, may have a partial thermoregulatory effect
- Teacher Ok - we are going to log off for now. We will be back at 5:30 pm PST -right?
Bugscope Team yes 7.5 p.m. our time
- Teacher see youlater! THANKS!!!!
- Bugscope Team Thank You!
- Bugscope Team bye!
- Teacher We're back :) We will be on at about 5:35 pm (7:35 pm) - students are preparing some questions
- Bugscope Team totally cool I am redoing some of the presets
- Teacher I can see that :) Yay!!
- Teacher We are ready!
- Bugscope Team cool
- Bugscope Team Chas is here.
- Bugscope Team our architect
- Bugscope Team this is the fly's face
- Teacher Hety Chas!!!
- Teacher Hey I mean
- Bugscope Team he says Hi. He's giving one of his friends a tour, just dropped in.
- Bugscope Team please let me know when you have questions
- Bugscope Team of course
- Teacher Why do they have hairs?
- Bugscope Team SEM is the scanning electron microscope we're using, so I have, like deus ex machina -- I can drive the 'scope directly
- Teacher I am going to put my students on the scope now.
- Bugscope Team because they have an exoskeleton, like a shell or like a suit of armor, they need to be able to sense the environment.
- Bugscope Team the hairs, bristles, spines, are usually called setae
- Bugscope Team they can be thermosensory, chemosensory, mechanosensory...
- Teacher What is the scale from?
Bugscope Team it is from a butterfly or moth that was likely collected at the same time as the wasp, or the wasp was fraternizing with a moth
- Bugscope Team below it you see another thing I made into a preset -- a strand of fungus that looks like umbrellas stuck into unbrellas
- Bugscope Team so the setae help insects sense the environment since they usually do not have noses to smell with, nor do they have skin with nerve endings in it...
- Teacher Hello, my name is Binh
Bugscope Team Hi Binh!
- Bugscope Team please let us know whenever you have questions
- Bugscope Team we have been doing this since March 1999
- Teacher The moth scale is stuck on a yellow jacket's head right?
Bugscope Team yes it is!
- Teacher Why is it stuck there and are the hairs sticky?
Bugscope Team those hairs are not especially sticky
- Bugscope Team but there are also sticky hairs called tenent setae
- Teacher Why are there debris-looking stuff on the yellow jacket's head?
- Bugscope Team there is a lot of dirt, and since the wasp is dead so it cannot clean itself
- Bugscope Team be right back...
- Teacher thanks! we are enjoying...
- Teacher can you explain how ants are able to carry so many things at once - especially things that appear to be qquite heavier than their own weight?
Bugscope Team their bodies are rigid on the outside, with some helpful flexibility, and they have good musculature; they don't think about something being heavy. they have have better innervated muscles than most people do
- Teacher why are the antenas hairy?
Bugscope Team the hairs are sensory\
- Teacher what do they use the antenas for?
Bugscope Team they use the antennae to pick up chemical communication
- Teacher Why is the end part of the antenna different from the beginning part? Do they have a joint like a bone in the middle?
Bugscope Team that is how you tell ants from wasps, by that stiff portion of the first part of the antenna out of the head
- Bugscope Team but they do not have bones -- they are invertebrates, meaning they do not have backbones, but of course they have no bones at all. their shell -- the exoskeleton, is like an outer bony suit of armor
- Guest can ants see with their eyes? or do they use they antennaes to move around their enveironmentnet?
Bugscope Team both. some have very good eyes, and some species do not bother to have eyes. the antennae have more influence on the ant's behavior
- Guest how many legs does an ant have?
Bugscope Team all insects have six legs, a head, a thorax, an abdomen, and two antennae
- Teacher does their mouth open sideways? or up and down like a human
Bugscope Team it opens sideways, like a gate opening and closing
- Bugscope Team insect mouths can be very complex
- Teacher do ants have good vision?
Bugscope Team some have very good vision, but generally it is not that good
- Guest what's the benefit of ants having those types of eyes
Bugscope Team compound eyes give you better peripheral vision, and they also allow to register motion more quickly in the very very fast insect world
- Guest why do their eyes have such a "bumpy" surface?
Bugscope Team the bumps are individual lenses, or facets, called ommatidia
- Teacher Do ants really live in colonies, like in the cartoons?
Bugscope Team yes they do, and they are almost all females
- Teacher can you show us mouth parts that move sideways?
Bugscope Team I had driven to that area and then got busy typing
- Bugscope Team oops
- Guest is the ant's vision small bubble like pictures of what's in front of them or is it one big picture that looks like a grid is over it?
Bugscope Team it is a series of views of the same things but a little different from each lens
- Teacher What is the tubular appendage?
Bugscope Team that is a busted antenna shaft
- Guest can you see the ant's reproductive parts?
Bugscope Team as with many insects, they are inside where you cannot see them
- Guest so these female ants, can they reproduce like the queen?
- Bugscope Team stingers are modified ovipositors, so any insect you see with a stinger is also a female
- Guest we didnt want to sound nasty so we said reprodctive parts but we mean the exterior genetalia
Bugscope Team no problem -- insects often have only interior genitalia, so you cannot always tell the dfference in sexes
- Teacher why do they have longer hairs?
Bugscope Team they may help with thermoregulation
- Teacher what is a yellow jackets role in the circle of life?
Bugscope Team they are pollinators, whether they like it or not, and they also help things decompose, which is super helpful
- Guest so are MOST insects female then?
Bugscope Team no but things in large colonies like bees, wasps, and ants, which are all related, are often nearly all female
- Bugscope Team with earwigs you can tell the males from the females because the male cercopods -- the pincers -- are bowed in males and close together -- more demure -- in females
- Teacher What are tarsi?
Bugscope Team tarsi are the last 5 distalmost segments of the leg, and they are jointed to make them flexible -- the claws are at the tip of the most terminal tarsomere
- Bugscope Team elected, in a way
- Bugscope Team when a queen is necessary for the survival of a colony, some of the workers than normally mind the eggs, then larvae, will feed larvae more royal jelly and cause a change to occur in those larvae
- Guest very interesting!
- Guest what do you mean by royal Jelly?
Bugscope Team it is a secretion from the hypopharynx of worker bees, and all bees are fed it but greater quantities can elicit a change in the genes that will cause a larvae to grow into a prospective queen
- Guest How?
Bugscope Team by the death or loss of the queen; bees are kind of programmed to know what to do
- Guest why do ants have less lenses in their eye than the fly?
Bugscope Team for one, they usually do noty fly, whereas flies do. flying insects almost always have much more complex eyes. some wasps can have as many as 17,000 ommatidia per compound eye
- Guest so does the queen die of reproducing too much, old age, or some other reason?
Bugscope Team some will die of old age, yes; I think they live around 4 years but I'm not sure where I read that
- Guest can you drive and show us the hypopharynx of a bee, so we can see where the secretion comes from?
Bugscope Team it's on the inside of the worker bee's mouth
- Guest can you drive and show us the hypopharynx of a bee, so we can see where the secretion comes from?
Bugscope Team it would come out of the mouth
- Bugscope Team oh also, many flying insects have three more eyes, simple eyes, on the top of the head, called ocelli
- Teacher If you can show us a hypopharynx, that would be great. If not - OK :)
Bugscope Team haha it is on the inside of the head, like in the throat
- Teacher oh
- Teacher nevermind
- Teacher :)
- Teacher This will be our last question before logging off :)
Bugscope Team guess you will have to ask another question since I cannot help with that one
- Bugscope Team some insects can also see, with their compound eyes, ultraviolet wavelengths of light that come from flowers
- Teacher HOw was pilates?
Bugscope Team haha It was really good. I like it when I'm done and walking down the street and I feel taller
- Teacher well done!
- Bugscope Team we cannot see UV light; we need blacklights to let us see that kind of light
- Bugscope Team what is cool is that I got the TEM chiller up and running this evening so the TEM is back online
- Bugscope Team TEM is how you see mitochondria, etc.
- Teacher that is exciting!
- Teacher Well - go home and relax - we are signing off now :) Talk to you soon! THANK YOU!!
Bugscope Team Thank YOU!
- Bugscope Team have a good evening
- Teacher bye now
- Bugscope Team Bye!