Connected on 2015-03-03 09:00:00 from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, United States
- Bugscope Team venting the microscope
- Bugscope Team in a minute we'll be putting today's sample in
- Bugscope Team stinkbug, moth, weevil, wasps, leafhopper, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes...
- Bugscope Team sample is now in the 'scope and pumping down
- Bugscope Team 1.7
- Bugscope Team not so bad
- Bugscope Team 1.5
- Bugscope Team 1.3
- Bugscope Team yellow fever, chikingunya, dengue fever, among others, for Ae aegypti
- Bugscope Team hi subda
- Bugscope Team Subda are you still here? Our school has not connected with us yet...
- Bugscope Team we'll give this just a few more minutes; if we don't hear from anyone we'll shut down for today
- Bugscope Team shutting down...
- Bugscope Team new day
- Bugscope Team this is March 3, 2015
- Bugscope Team setup for today's session
- Bugscope Team venting chamber
- Bugscope Team sample is now in chamber
- Bugscope Team and pumping down
- Bugscope Team we will start making presets once the vacuum is good
- Bugscope Team we are ready to roll!
- Bugscope Team nice sample today
- Bugscope Team good morning! Welcome to Bugscope!
- Bugscope Team we had freezing rain here overnight
- Bugscope Team so it was a little tricky getting in
- Bugscope Team you are set up to drive; if you click on any of the presets on the lefthand screen, the microscope will drive to that position on the stage
- Teacher Hi, This is Mrs. D. I am here with 23 6th graders. We have been studying echinoderms and other invertebrates.
- Bugscope Team sweet!
- Bugscope Team this is some kind of predatory fly -- I'm sorry I don't know what it is
- Teacher What are we looking at now?
- Bugscope Team but it has slashing-cutting mouthparts like a deerfly or horsefly
- Bugscope Team to the right we see that a stinkbug is reaching one of its arms toward the fly
- Teacher We would love to see the compound eye up close.
Bugscope Team you can click + on the magnification bar above the screen -- do you see it?
- Bugscope Team I just did it myself.
- Bugscope Team Hello everyone!
- Bugscope Team we can see that there are thousands of ommatidia -- the individual facets of the compound eye -- per eye
- Bugscope Team sometimes they are perfect hexagons
- Bugscope Team Based on the dip in the head between the eyes, I'd say this is probably a Robber Fly - Family name: Asilidae
- Teacher We have several students who want to become scientists. What is the small thing you are focused on?
- Bugscope Team this looks like a mold spore, nestled among the ommatidia
- Bugscope Team we have better mold spores to look at on the trapjaw any ehad
- Bugscope Team head
- Bugscope Team Hooray! I hope there are some girls in that group :) - as a female entomologist, I must encourage this :)
- Teacher How does the mold get there, students ask?
Bugscope Team mold is always present in the air, and especially in moist spaces
Bugscope Team it is kind of opportunistic; if given the chance it will take hold, grow, and start the decomposition process
- Bugscope Team these mold spores are a bit desiccated
- Bugscope Team if you take the magnification down, you can see where this is on the head of the trapjaw ant
- Teacher Thank you! Could we do some more mouth parts?
Bugscope Team let's look at the borer mouthparts
- Bugscope Team Not this ant in particular, but there are some ants - specifically leaf cutters that feed on fungus, so many time they have fungal spores on them
- Bugscope Team oh this is good -- you can see the head of the trapjaw ant. its mandibles (jaws) go off to the left
- Bugscope Team Trapjaw ants! This ladies has extremely powerful mandibles.
- Teacher Is that a compound eye in the middle? The bump?
Bugscope Team yes it is!
- Bugscope Team here you could probably count the ommatidia
- Bugscope Team these ants usually have their jaws open at 180 degrees and sometimes when they snap shut they go flying through the air
Bugscope Team This is a method of predator evasion
- Teacher Wow! What are the little lines around the eye?
Bugscope Team if we go up in mag, we will see that they are tiny setae (hairs)
Bugscope Team setae are often sensory -- they stick through the exoskeleton, which is a kind of shell, and they help the insect taste, smell, and feel its environment
- Bugscope Team some setae are called microsetae, and they do not go through the exoskeleton
- Teacher They look hollow. How long are the hairs?
Bugscope Team looks like about 30 or so micrometers
Bugscope Team 30/1000 of a millimeter
Bugscope Team they are quite small
- Bugscope Team yes!
- Teacher Can we look at its mouthparts?
Bugscope Team the mandibles are closed together
Bugscope Team they are long and have little projections on them to help them grasp their prey
- Teacher Can you open them, the students ask?
Bugscope Team haha I'm sorry -- they're inside the microscope, in a high vacuum
Bugscope Team Nope, not during the session. The mandibles can be opened before preparing them for the scope if you use forceps though
- Bugscope Team to the left, above, we see one of the combs the ant uses to help clean its antennae
- Teacher Is that so there are no particles floating around?
Bugscope Team yes we do not want to have air in the specimen chamber because it will stop the electrons
- Bugscope Team If you look in the lower left corner of the image you can see long hair-like structures coming from the mandibles. Those are the trigger hairs, and when the mandibles are locked open stimulate their closure. These ants use their mandibles in a way thats very similar to a bear trap to catch prey
- Teacher Wow! So fuzzy
- Teacher The students wanted to see the comb better.
Bugscope Team the comb is on one of the forelimbs, and it is at an 'elbow'; here we see that the forelimb is broken off
- Bugscope Team you can see that it really does resemble a comb
- Bugscope Team now that we see the comb, we also see a loose scale from a moth or butterfly
- Teacher How did it break off?
Bugscope Team when the ant died it was stuck to another ant, and we had to pull them apart
Bugscope Team it was an accident; I am sorry
Bugscope Team additionally, sometimes parts break off just because the insects are dried out in and when this happens they become brittle
- Teacher Ha, ha. We are the joker.
- Teacher The students want to know who you are.
Bugscope Team I'm Batman
Bugscope Team I am an electron microscopist.
Bugscope Team JK I'm a first year Entomology Masters student studying Trap-jaw ant kinematics and evolution
Bugscope Team Josh is a confirmed ant dude.
Bugscope Team I'm an entomologist that studies ticks
Bugscope Team I look at their CO2 sensing structure which is called the Haller's Organ
- Bugscope Team here we see the slashing mouthpart of the fly, above, and crosswise on the screen is one of the fly's limbs
- Teacher What are kinematics?
Bugscope Team it has to do with how they move, in a way -- Josh can explain
Bugscope Team Scott's right. Kinematics is the study of motion. I examine how the mandibles close, focusing primarily on the speed, acceleration, and force generation of the mandible strikes.
Bugscope Team And how all of these measures vary within a population, species or lineage of trap-jaw ants
- Teacher Can we see the mite on the robber fly?
Bugscope Team yes it is in the image now but so small it is a little dot
- Bugscope Team here it comes
- Bugscope Team I want you all to see the super tiny mite on the robber fly
Bugscope Team We have a colony of trap-jaws in the lab that are currently infested with what appear to be ectoparasitic mites. I can bring you one sometime Scott if you want to use one for bugscope. I'd really like to see them under the SEM
- Bugscope Team 60 millionths of a meter
- Teacher What part of the mite are we looking at?
Bugscope Team it is lying on its back, and we see its forelimbs
- Bugscope Team haha one of the limbs just moved
- Bugscope Team it looks like this mite only has 3 pairs of legs which would mean that it is a larval mite - this is the form mites are in after they hatch
Bugscope Team Once the mite molts (sheds it's skin) it will get it's 4th pair of legs
- Bugscope Team it is the smallest mite we have ever seen in this microscope
- Bugscope Team today, after 16 years of using this 'scope
- Teacher Really cool! We are doing real science! You are welcome!
- Bugscope Team you can see that its body is all folded up, ready to swell when it feeds
- Teacher I is alive, or is that impossible in the vacuum?
- Teacher It
- Bugscope Team it could be holding its breath in the vacuum
- Teacher What does it eat?
Bugscope Team I am not sure -- T or Josh may know.
Bugscope Team It varies from mite to mite, some mite can help the insect they're on an eat things like mold/fungus, but others are parasites and will drink the hosts hemolymph (blood)
- Teacher Very cool!
- Teacher Could we zoom in even closer?
- Bugscope Team mostly what we see are setae that help it feel and taste
- Teacher This looks like spaghetti, but what is it?
Bugscope Team setae
- Bugscope Team Here we can see it's legs
- Teacher I was typing and missed your reply. Thanks!
- Teacher It has some dots. What are those?
Bugscope Team I think they are bumps in the exoskeleton; they may be tiny bits of dirt
- Bugscope Team last week we saw two mites that had fallen off of a mosquito
- Teacher Just dirt. We are familiar that!
- Teacher Could they be animals on the tiny mite?
Bugscope Team they are smaller than bacteria. I think it is unlikely.
Bugscope Team for comparison, bacteria (the rod-shaped ones) are usually about 2 microns long
Bugscope Team the dots we see are on the nanoscale, like 100 nanometers or less in diameter, closer to the size range of viruses.
- Teacher HOw tiny is that?
Bugscope Team it is about 60 micrometers long.
- Teacher How far can the microscope zoom in?
Bugscope Team it can go over 1 million times, but we can take publishable images at no more than about 200,000x
- Teacher Are mites related to lice?
Bugscope Team Not really. They are both arthropods, so they are about as closely related as you and I are to a fish or crocodile in that we are all chordates (Im assuming you are also a human and in fact not a crocodile or fish, which would ruin this analogy). Both lice and some mites independently evolved the parasitic life style
Bugscope Team Mites are more closely related to ticks
- Teacher Are any of you women scientists?
Bugscope Team Me :)
- Teacher Have you ever looked at interesting viruses?
Bugscope Team when we look at viruses we use the transmission electron microscope, and we have been privileged to look at viruses that infect Archaea, which are tiny organsims that form, together, the Third Kingdom of life.
- Teacher Yay! Girl Power!
Bugscope Team woo :)
- Bugscope Team yeah they're on one of the recent Bugscope sessions
Bugscope Team the mosquito mites?
Bugscope Team yes
- Teacher What are mosquito mites?
Bugscope Team Scott and T are talking about mites that Scott found on a mosquito during a previous bugscope session. T. is into mites and wanted to know if Scott saved them so she could take a look.
- Teacher What do you study?
Bugscope Team here we help people do research, of all types; we train them to use the microscopes in the Microscopy Suite here to do their own research.
Bugscope Team I'm studying the Haller's organ of ticks - this is the organ that helps ticks find hosts
Bugscope Team Trap-jaw ant kinematics and all that jazz I mentioned earlier
- Teacher Neat eye! Which insect is this?
Bugscope Team This is a yellowjacket
Bugscope Team yellowjackets are a type of social wasp
- Teacher Could we zoom in on the eye?
- Bugscope Team bees and wasps are related to ants, so this is not too far from Josh's work
- Teacher Can we see another insect? Which is this?
Bugscope Team this is the compound eye of the yellowjacket
- Teacher Jack says he did not realize that yellowjackets were so fuzzy.
Bugscope Team the fuzziness comes from all of the hairs, which we call 'setae'; they help insects sense their environment, and sense their own movement, and also do things like help them regulate their bodt temperature
- Bugscope Team monster
- Teacher Is this a stink bug?
Bugscope Team it is related to stinkbugs, but it is predatory
Bugscope Team it hunts other insects, or actually hides and attacks when they do not see it
- Bugscope Team dragonflies and some hornets, like cicada killers, can have over 30,000 ommatidia per compound eye
- Bugscope Team some ants do not bother to have eyes at all
- Teacher How many hexagons are in the compound eye?
Bugscope Team it varies from insect to insect. Insects that are hunters - like dragonflies an probably 10s of thousands while insects like ants (sorry Josh) have just a few hundred.
Bugscope Team additionally, different sexes have a different number as well, males tend to have more than females because they're look for their mates (unlike females)
Bugscope Team Hey Scott, its not the number of ommatidia you have, but how you use them :P
- Bugscope Team I think this is an ambush bug, related to wheel bugs
- Teacher Thank you for helping us learn about insects and electron microscopes. We looked at slides under a compound microscope. Is is time for you all to go?
Bugscope Team we can run a bit longer if it works for you
- Teacher Is that a wheel bug or an assassin bug? Is that its mouth?
Bugscope Team wheel bugs are a type of assassin bug
Bugscope Team Scott has this labeled as an ambush bug, but I'm 90% sure it is not a true ambush bug (phymatinae)
Bugscope Team If it was it would have more distinctive raptorial forelegs
Bugscope Team I will always defer to the entomologists.
- Teacher Could we zoom in one more time?
Bugscope Team let's look at the compound eyes of the moth, is that alright?
- Teacher Can we zoom in on the moth?
Bugscope Team yes!
- Bugscope Team The curled up structure was the moth's mouthparts
- Teacher Yes, is that a proboscis?
Bugscope Team let's go see
- Teacher Wow! So cool!
- Teacher The zoomed in eye looked like hamburgers or marshsmallows, students remark.
Bugscope Team the students are obviously hungry!
- Bugscope Team the proboscis is coiled up when the moth is not using it
- Teacher Lunch is in 10 minutes!
- Teacher What is the dot in the middle, a mite?
Bugscope Team hard to tell what it is
Bugscope Team Im pretty sure its not a mite though
- Bugscope Team the round thing here is a brochosome
- Bugscope Team I'm going to the microscope to try to focus better
- Teacher Thank you all. We need to sign off! Hope you have a tasty lunch, too! Don't eat the hexagonal cheeseburgers.
- Teacher What is a brochosome?
- Bugscope Team Thank you! I hope you all enjoyed the session!
- Bugscope Team See you next year!
- Teacher See you next year! Thank you!
- Bugscope Team This is really cool
- Bugscope Team 'scope is pumping down
- Bugscope Team vacuum is getting better
- Teacher The kids want to know what T's name is.
Bugscope Team my name is Tanya
- Bugscope Team Also Josh - you've only further supported my statement that you know a lot more than me
Bugscope Team about certain arcane things
Bugscope Team which can be very helpful in the linnaean games lol
- Bugscope Team Mrs D because we were talking about mites earlier and I told Tanya about the mosquito mites I just put that stub in the microscope. Whatever we find will go on your member page, and you can see it later.
- Teacher See you next year! What are you doing with the micoscope?
Bugscope Team Scott's going to see if he can show T. the mosquito mites
- Bugscope Team http://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2014-073
- Teacher Thank you! So interesting!
- Teacher I will do that later! They zoomed to lunch!
Bugscope Team Sweet :) They're a really funky looking organ, but really neat to see. I also have a fun explanation of how ticks use them in my research tab
- Teacher They wanted to know if a Haller's organ was like a nose.
Bugscope Team in a way yes - only what they sense are pheromones (or chemicals that tick release) and CO2 - as a few other things as well
- Teacher A mosquito mite?
Bugscope Team yes!
- Teacher Thank you!
Bugscope Team Of course! Hey if you want to show your students my website - I have ESEM photos of the Tick Haller's organ on it
Bugscope Team https://tanyajosek.wordpress.com/
- Teacher Thank you! Going to lunch, too! We will revisit all we have learned!
- Bugscope Team here is one of them
Bugscope Team That mite has seen better days I am sure
Bugscope Team so cool!
- Bugscope Team this is one of the other ones
- Bugscope Team k I am going to see if I can find the other ones
Bugscope Team awesome
Bugscope Team I wonder if these mites were on the mosquito or just chillin in the mosquito containers
Bugscope Team they have scales from the mosquitoes stuck to their setae
- Bugscope Team I'm signing off guys. I need to shower and get to the lab sometime soon to prep for an undergrad I have coming in to sort bird nests.
Bugscope Team Later.
Bugscope Team Thank you, Josh!
Bugscope Team Alrighty - see you later!
- Bugscope Team bird nests = mites for sure
Bugscope Team definitely
- Bugscope Team that way you can ID the skeeters for sure
Bugscope Team the mosquitoes I gave you were definitely Aedes aegypti - I took them from the Med Ent colony
- Bugscope Team Tanya I can save these for you.
Bugscope Team How do you save them? Do you save the stub
Bugscope Team yes I will save the stub, np
Bugscope Team is that what you meant initially?
- Bugscope Team these mosquitoes, though, came from an earlier set you had brought us
Bugscope Team oh hold on - lets look really quick
- Bugscope Team to the north
- Bugscope Team oh geez
Bugscope Team do you recognize this?
- Bugscope Team I can take us to the other mosquito
- Bugscope Team that proboscis
Bugscope Team sometimes when they are critical point dried the fascicle comes out and also blows apart due to a kind of tension it must be under
Bugscope Team that's pretty cool
- Bugscope Team no apparent mites here
- Bugscope Team but there is a 3rd mosquito
- Bugscope Team did all of the mosquitos come from the same vial?
Bugscope Team yes
- Bugscope Team ok nothing to see, looks like
- Bugscope Team T I'll shut down and save this stub for you if you are interested
- Bugscope Team it's really hard to id mosquitos -_-
Bugscope Team I think they were Ae aegypti
- Bugscope Team Aedes is really easy to id if if you have color - they're black and white
Bugscope Team haha I think the thing to do is make a stub with ones we haven't seen yet.
- Bugscope Team Culex is brown
- Bugscope Team there are other features you use to ID mosquitoes, but these features get skewed in the vacuum - ie abdomen shape
- Bugscope Team they look like zebras lol
Bugscope Team yeah I remember seeing that but cannot say for sure it was these ones; after a few sessions I get confused about what we put on a certain stub.
Bugscope Team understandable
Bugscope Team alright time for me to go -- good to get to talk with you. and as always I really appreciate your help
Bugscope Team Yes - it was a fun session! thank you for putting the mites back on here :) I took some photos
Bugscope Team awesome -- over and out!
- Bugscope Team Have a great day Scott!
Bugscope Team you too!
Bugscope Team thanks :)