Connected on 2012-03-19 09:30:00
from New York, New York, United States
- 8:39 am
- Bugscope Teampumping down the sample now
- 8:47 am
- Bugscope Teammaking presets
- 8:52 am
- 9:01 am
- 9:07 am
- 9:12 am
- 9:17 am
- Teacherwe are here and we will be ready in 10 minutes. I don't need sound, correct?
- Bugscope Teamno sound is needed
- Bugscope TeamI will be done and ready for in in about 5 minutes or so
- 9:22 am
- 9:29 am
- Bugscope Teamwe are ready when you are!
- TeacherHi we are ready!!
- Bugscope Teamhi everyone. We have a bunch of your aphids today along with some other things
- Bugscope Teamthe head is to the upper right
- Bugscope Teamit's proboscis, which is uses to drink liquids, is sticking out
- Bugscope Teamunfortunately it uses that same proboscis to poke us
- Teacherwhat is the thing between the front two legs? - naomi
Bugscope Teamthat looks to be a piece of debris, maybe dirt
- 9:34 am
- Teacherhmmm we are confused
Bugscope Teamoh, I think you are actually looking at the proboscis
- Bugscope Teamsorry about that
- Teacherwhat exactly does it do?
Bugscope Teamit uses the proboscis like a straw. It's similar to an elephant's trunk
- Teacheritamar- What are the circles around the bottom of the body?
Bugscope Teamthat is the area of the abdomen. The circles are where the abdomen can fill out. It's a little flat right now, but if the aphid were full, it would have a nice round abdomen
- Teacherelsbeth- what are the dots on the legs?
- Bugscope Teamthose are setae (pronounced see-tee), which are really just hairs
- Bugscope Teamthere are hairs on a lot of insects. The exoskeleton isn't as sensitive as our skin, so they rely on those hairs to relay information about what they are touching, tasting, smelling, etc
- Teacherjulia- do aphids have brains?
Bugscope Teamyes, though they are very small
- 9:39 am
- Teacherhow small compared to their bodies?
Bugscope Teamyou see one of those round segments of where the leg meets the body? The brain is probably about that size
- Teacheremma- where on the body do aphids carry their eggs?
Bugscope Teamtheir abdomen
- Teachershould we hold off on general questions (we are very inquisitive) while you show us about our aphids?
- Bugscope Teamif you want, you can choose a preset by clicking on the left arrow and selecting a picture. The ones I did for aphids are near the bottom
- Teacherleo- how many species of aphids are there- and what are the most common ones?
Bugscope Teamthere are about 1500 species between US and Canada
Bugscope Teamlooks like there are about 4000 in the world. I;m not sure which is the most common
- 9:45 am
- Teacherthis is the pregnant aphid?
- Bugscope Teamso here is one that is/was full of eggs
- Bugscope Teamthe things sticking out the bottom of the abdomen are called cornicles
- Teacherwhat do the cornicles do?
Bugscope Teamthe cornicles exude a sticky liquid that is a defensive measure against most things that would eat it. The predators will get stuck in the liquid. There are a type of ant that will farm that liquid though
- Bugscope Teamthere is a crack in the abdomen, you can see, so I'm not sure there are eggs still in her
- 9:50 am
- Teacherchloe- how many eggs can they lay?
Bugscope Teamaphids lay about 2000 eggs in a lifetime
Bugscope Teamoops that's not right. I am not sure. My book is a little misleading
- Teacherlila- what does the inside of an aphid look like?
Bugscope Teamthey have a long tube running through them that supplies oxygen throughout the body. They also have another long tube that includes the heart. Other than that there is a lot of muscle
- TeacherI (Shakira) heard that the females give birth to live young that are only females, born already pregnant. Is that true?
Bugscope Teamyes if they are unfertilized they birth females. And yes are born live. It's called parthenogenesis
- TeacherBethel- what color is an aphid when it just hatches?
Bugscope Teammost insects when they first emerge are white. I think the same are true for aphids
- Teacherwilliam- what color blood does an aphid have?
Bugscope TeamI'm not really sure, but it might be different depending on the aphid. Some bug blood is clear, some appears green
- 9:56 am
- Teachercharlotte- when baby aphids are they born with their eyes open?
Bugscope Teaminsects can't close their eyes. They don't have eyelids. They have compound eyes, which are made up of many ommatidia, which can each see something
- Teacherkatie- how long do aphids live?
Bugscope Teamthey live for around a month
- Teacherhow many at once? Also we heard that in the winter they give birth to live young
Bugscope TeamI think they have 3 to 6 a day
- Teacherdeclan- how much do aphids suck a day?
Bugscope Teamnot sure, but ladybugs can eat around 50 a day!
Bugscope Team50 aphids that is
- Teacheralice- why are aphids different colors?
Bugscope Teamusually the coloring on the aphids help them to blend in to the type of plant they like. Other times the bright colors they might have help to warn away potential predators
- Teacherin our greenhouse the liquid also made the plants get powdery mildew. Is that common?
Bugscope TeamI think so
Bugscope TeamAh! I found that yes, it can cause the growth of black, sooty mold, which can prevent light from reaching the photosynthetic tissue of the plant.
- 10:02 am
- Teacherjosh- why do aphids produce honeydew?
Bugscope Teami think it is just a waste byproduct. Ants and some other insects will farm that liquid for their own use
- Teachergabbie- how far can aphids fly without rest?
Bugscope TeamI'm not sure. Good question!
- Teacherethan- do aphids mate?
Bugscope TeamYes late in the year the females mate with the males
- Teacherjake- which species of aphid is the biggest and smallest?
Bugscope TeamThe large oak aphid is the biggest. It's the size of a coffee bean
- Teachercamilla- why do aphids suck up the juice in the leaves?
Bugscope Teamthat is what they eat
- Teacherjonah R- how small can aphids species be?
Bugscope Teamthey can be about .13 centimeters. Not sure what species is the smallest though
- Teacherthomas- do aphids like a certain type of plant over others?
Bugscope TeamYes but that depends on the species.
- 10:08 am
- Teachersadie- how often do aphids drop honeydew?
- Teacherpeter- how did aphids get their name?
Bugscope Team it is though to be derived from the plural of Greek apheides which means "unsparing, lavishly bestowed,"
- Teachermilah- how long are aphids pregnant?
Bugscope TeamI found somewhere they can give birth within 10 days of being born themselves
- Teacherluisa- do aphids eat flowers?
Bugscope TeamYes, they can feed on the stem, flowers, and leaves.
- Teacherethan- what is the maximum height and weight of an aphid?
- Teachertenzing- are there only certain aphid species that get wings?
Bugscope TeamAll species can get wings, but not all are born with it.
- 10:13 am
- Teacherbria- are the wings the same size as the aphid's body?
Bugscope Teamthey are a little bit bigger.
- Teacherethan- do aphids flap or glide with their wings?
Bugscope Teamthey do both, but mostly flap. Like a fly
- Teacherthis is Shakira again- I heard that aphids can only develop wings in the winter. true?
Bugscope TeamThey develop wings when conditions force them to. Say their food source is getting low, there will be some aphids born with wings so they can locate to a new area
- Teacherbraedon- what do aphids use claws for?
Bugscope TeamThey use claws to hold onto things, like the plant they are eating from
- Teacherelsbeth- how long are an aphid's wings?
Bugscope TeamI think that depends on the aphid. They look to be a little longer than the body, but not by much
- Teacheralice- do aphids usually walk or fly?
Bugscope Teammost are born wingless so they walk around
- 10:18 am
- Teacherahmed- what happens to their wings when there is plenty of food around?
Bugscope Teamthey might still migrate to a new location if they are born with wings.
- Bugscope Teamyou all are asking great questions!
- Teacherdo you want to show us anything about our aphids before we ask more great questions?
- Bugscope Teamhere are some egg casings. These might be from a pregnant aphid that kind of blew open
- Bugscope TeamHere is a cornicle up close
- Teachersorry didnt' realize you were showing us
- Bugscope TeamNo it's ok
- Bugscope Teamif you wanted to move to the closeup of the cornicle that would be fine
- Bugscope Teamthis is where a waxy substance comes out
- 10:24 am
- Teachernow we want to ask you some more general questions to understand the aphids in our greenhouse
- Bugscope Teamwhat kind of plant did you get these aphids from?
- Teacherwe got these aphids from our lettuce plants
- Teacheri was told these are green peach aphids. it's so hard to identify them
- Teachergregory- what temperatures do they like?
Bugscope Teamthey definitely thrive in warm temperatures
Bugscope Teamthey like between 65-80 degrees F most
- Bugscope Teamthe green peach aphid is a fairly common species
- Teachergabbie- when there aren't any plants can they adapt?
Bugscope TeamYes, that is when they will be born with wings, so they can move to a new location.
- Bugscope Teamthe green peach aphid eats many different kinds of plants. Probably why it is so common
- Teacherethan- do aphids eat anything else other than plant juices?
Bugscope Teamthey just feed on the sap of plants. Nothing else
- 10:29 am
- Teacherwe would still like to ask you some more questions even though our time is up. is that ok?
- Bugscope TeamThere are some honey ants that protect the aphids so they can farm the honeydew the aphids produce
- Bugscope Teamsure that is fine
- Bugscope TeamI usually work on bugscope with another person, Scott, but he couldn't make it today. Sometimes we also have guest entomologists join us.
- Bugscope TeamWe are located within the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
- Bugscope TeamAll your chat and images you saw today can be accessed again from your member page at http://bugscope.beckman.uiuc.edu/members/2011-159
- Teacheritamar-how delicate are the wings?
Bugscope Teamthey are very thin, and transparent. They are still made of chitin, which is the same stuff their exoskeleton is made from, but a very thin amount
- TeacherWyatt-do aphids have teeth
Bugscope Teamno, they have no biting mouthparts. They just have their proboscis
- TeacherAhmed-is There any kind of plant that aphids like most???
Bugscope Teamthey like healthy plants. The type depends on the species. Their eggs can also overwinter attached to the plant
- 10:35 am
- Teachersydney- how much honeydew does an aphid drop a day?
Bugscope TeamI'm not sure how much sorry
- Teacherwhen do they drink xylem and when do they drink phloem?
Bugscope TeamThe xylem is high in water, so they drink that when they are feeling dehydrated. Phloem is for their nutrients
- Teacherthey like healthy plants? we thought they like sick plants
Bugscope TeamThey can make plants sick. They can transmit viruses to plants
- Teacherluca- can aphids be hazardous to your health?
Bugscope Teamnot directly, but they can ruin the plants you want to eat from, as you well know
- 10:42 am
- Teachermali- aphids like the stems where there is a lot of juices but why do we also see them on leaves?
Bugscope Teamthey eat from all of the foliage. Stems, leaves, and flowers.
- TeacherCate the kids have left now (they were 3rd graders by the way) and we can't thank you enough!!!!!! this was so amazing. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about aphids in greenhouses? Also, when we try to identify them is there something in particular that we should be focusing on? thanks again, Shakira
Bugscope Teamto identify, the best way is to look at their coloring, and possibly what plant they were on. But as I mentioned some species like more than one plant, so that isn't always helpful
- Bugscope TeamWatch out for those aphids. Ladybugs are helpful in eating them
- Bugscope TeamI hope you all had a good time looking at your aphids! It was very nice that you sent them in liquid. they don't air dry very well
- 10:49 am
- Bugscope TeamHave a good day, over and out!