Connected on 2012-02-23 09:00:00
from Currituck, North Carolina, United States
- 7:23 am
- Bugscope Teamsample is pumping down
- 7:51 am
- Bugscope Teamwe are starting to make presets...
- Bugscope Teamgood morning!
- Bugscope Teamno stinger
- TeacherGood morning from Mrs. Metger's second grade class at Moyock Elementary School!
- Bugscope TeamMrs Metger what time are we connecting?
- 7:57 am
- TeacherI have time scheduled for you from now until 10:00am. We are excited and ready to see some awesome insect adaptations!
- 8:02 am
- Bugscope TeamI had us for 9 to 10 our time but will hurry through my setup
- Bugscope Teamplease go ahead and let us know when you have questions
- TeacherSuper! My students will be asking questions and they will also be "driving" the SEM when you are ready!
- TeacherHere is our first question.
- Bugscope Teamthis is a leafhopper
- TeacherJamie asks, "Is a tarantula an insect?"
Bugscope TeamTarantulas are arachnids -- they are a type of spider. They are arthropods but not insects.
- TeacherLauren asks, "When was the SEM made?"
- TeacherRobert asks, "How long can Monarch butterflies fly?"
Bugscope TeamMonarch butterflies can fly for hundreds of miles, but they have to take breaks on the way.
- 8:08 am
- Bugscope TeamMonarchs can actually fly over the ocean, so they are capable of staying in the air for more than a few days at a time
- Bugscope Teamthese are the mandibles -- the jaws -- of a large wasp
- Bugscope Teamwasps are insects, and they are related to ants
- Bugscope Teamspiders have eight legs, and they have the head and thorax in one fused part called the cephalothorax
- TeacherAlexis asks, "Where do you get the bugs?"
Bugscope TeamAlexis my mother sends me bugs, which can sometimes be disappointing if I was thinking she might be sending food.
- Bugscope Teamwe collect insects ourselves, from our homes, and from outdoors, and people give us insects as well
- TeacherJacob asks, "Why do killer bees kill people?"
Bugscope Teamkiller bees are very aggressive in protecting their nests, and they can attack people in large numbers. it is the large numbers of angry bees that overwhelm people
- Bugscope Teamthis is the compound eye of the ant
- 8:13 am
- Bugscope Teama compound eye has many lenses, and each of the bubbles we see is a lens, called an ommatidium
- TeacherLina asks, "What is your favorite bug?"
Bugscope TeamI really like weevils, and I like leafhoppers, and I like ticks, which are not insects
- Bugscope Teamyou will notice that the insects we look at have tiny 'hairs,' called setae, on the suface of their bodies
- Bugscope Teaminsects do not have bones, like we do; instead they have their skeleton on the outside, like a shell
- TeacherChris asks, "How do honeybees make honey from pollen?"
Bugscope Teamhoneybees make honey from the nectar that they collect from flowers; it's the sweet sugary stuff that attracts them to the flowers. at the same time they cannot help but collect pollen as well
- 8:18 am
- Bugscope TeamI should say that bees also use pollen, but that is to feed their young, and it is mixed with honey in what is called bee-bread
- TeacherAndrew S. asks, "Are worms insects?"
Bugscope Teamworms are invertebrates, like insects, meaning that they do not have a backbone, but they are not insects
- TeacherConnor asks, "Do wasps have a lens on their eyes like the lens that ants have?"
Bugscope TeamConnor they have lots more lenses, usually, than ants. They also have three 'simple eyes' on the top of their heads, called ocelli, that help them orient themselves with where the light is coming from so they don't get lost
- TeacherTrent asks, "How come the SEM is so big?
Bugscope TeamThe SEM has lots of electronics in it -- it is a very complicated instrument. It also uses two computers. Another thing that makes it large is that it has to have a vacuum system, and several different kinds of pumps to run it, and it has to be cooled by water. it also has an electron gun that is fairly tall, and an emission chamber to hold that
- TeacherAndrew B. asks, "Why do people put bugs in cigar boxes?"
Bugscope Teamprobably to keep them from getting broken or smashed -- they are so pretty and fragile as well
- 8:24 am
- TeacherSarah asks, "How do you operate the SEM?"
Bugscope TeamSarah it is really pretty easy to start out, and then you learn more and more tricks that help you make the images look good.
- Bugscope Teamwe have the SEM set up so that you can operate it from your school, but we have a few other things to do to ensure that it works well for you.
- TeacherAidan W. asks, "Why do dung beetles roll up poop and put it in the nest with their babies?"
Bugscope Teamthey are very good recyclers, and what is waste to some animals contains nutrients that the dung beetles can feed upon. to us it sounds gross, but they help break down waste, which is helpful to everyone
- TeacherBreanna asks, "Are snakes insects?"
Bugscope Teamsnakes are reptiles, and they have a backbone, so they are also called vertebrates, like we are
- TeacherEmma asks, "How did you first get interested in this job?"
Bugscope TeamEmma I started out doing transmission electron microscopy, which lets you see inside cells at very high magnifications. I was working with colorful frogs and other amphibians, trying to understand where the colors came from.
- 8:29 am
- TeacherWhat is the "stuff" between the wasp antenna hairs?
Bugscope Teamthere is a lot of dirt on this wasp, and you can also see placoid sensillae, which we think help pick up chemical scents in the air. some of them are mechanosensory, however, letting the wasp feel how its antennae are moving
- TeacherAlexis T. asks, "Why do lady bugs have spots? Is it because it makes them look like they have extra eyes?"
Bugscope Teamthat is one reason, and the spots may also help get them noticed. ladybugs taste bad, so their bright colors help alert predators that they are not good to eat
- TeacherJasmine asks, "How do ants walk upside down?"
Bugscope Teamthey have tiny setae between their claws that are sticky and help them cling to surfaces
- TeacherSpencer asks, "Are there such things as army ants?"
Bugscope Teamyes there are -- they move in huge colonies, and they can be dangerous to anything that gets in their way and cannot move away
- 8:34 am
- TeacherAndrew B. asks, "Why are bugs related to crabs and lobsters?"
Bugscope Teamsome of what we call 'bugs' are not insects but crustaceans, which is what crabs and lobsters are. so, for example a pillbug is not an insect (it doesn't have six legs), but it is a crustacean. Pillbugs even have gills.
- TeacherLina asks, "What adaptations do ants have?"
Bugscope Teamants have different adaptations even in the same colony that make them suited to particular jobs. leafcutting ants have large heads to hold all of the muscles they need to cut leaves, and they have long legs that allow them to pick up larger pieces of leaves.
- TeacherConnor asks, "Why do male stag beetles fight over female stag beetles?"
Bugscope Teamthey probably don't think about it this way, but they are driven to produce young, so they want to mate and have eggs that will carry on into future generations of stag beetles
- TeacherEmma asks, "Why do bugs live in Antarctica?"
Bugscope Teamthey will live anywhere there is food and they can eat and thrive. but not many insects are able to live in Antarctica.
- TeacherAlexis T. asks, "What do lady bugs eat? Do they eat fallen leaves?"
Bugscope Teamthey are actually predators, and they especially like to eat aphids
- 8:40 am
- TeacherJacob asks, "Why are black widows so deadly? My babysitter got bit by a black widow on her leg when she was six."
- TeacherAlexis is our driver and she was wondering if there are scales on the wing of this insect.
Bugscope Teamflies, except for mosquitoes, generally do not have scales on their wings, but sometimes we find them there if they have been collected with butterflies, for example
- TeacherShe noticed that it looks like there is a rip in the wing.
Bugscope Teamyes there is a rip in the wing, but it happened after the fly died
- TeacherJamie asks, "Are bees an insect?"
Bugscope Teamyes they are! they have a head, and a thorax, which is what all of the legs are connected to, like the trunk portion of a human body, and they have six legs, two antennae, and an abdomen
- TeacherAlexis sees that the hairs look really big closeup even though they are really small.
Bugscope Teamsome of the hairs, which we often call 'setae,' are larger, and some are quite small, and we might instead called them 'microsetae.' They are important to insects in helping them sense their environment.
- TeacherRobert asks, "How many miles per hour do butterflies fly?"
Bugscope TeamI read that the top speed of a butterfly is 12 miles per hour; moths are said to be able to fly twice as fast.
- TeacherAlexis T. sayd that she never knew that this bug had hairs. She thought that it was their natural color.
- TeacherBreanna asks, "How long can ladybugs fly?"
Bugscope Teamthey get tired and do not fly for more than a few minutes at a time, and usually even less
- 8:45 am
- TeacherAlexis T. notices that maybe one of the legs is broken.
Bugscope Teamyes I am sorry -- that happens, sometimes we do it ourselves but usually not on purpose
- TeacherAidan W. asks, "Why are bugs so scary?"\
Bugscope Teamthe more you see them the less scary they are. they are really pretty cool because they do a lot of the same things we do but in a quite different way. their adaptations are what allow them to fit into the niche they live in.
- TeacherLauren asks, "Does a spitter bug spit?" She is looking an insect field guide.
Bugscope Teamlike a spittle bug? they spit plant sap and make it into a kind of froth that protects them
- TeacherJasmine asks, "How do you know which one is the queen ant?"
Bugscope Teamit's the biggest one, usually, and you will rarely ever see it. it has wings when it is young, but when it settles deep into the nest it loses them
- 8:51 am
- TeacherWe see a black dot on the cricket claw and wondered if it was piece of dirt or the claw got chipped off.
Bugscope TeamI am sitting at the microscope and just changed the focus, which is easier to do right here... it looks like some kind of dirt
- Bugscope Teamnow we are looking at the wasp's compound eye, and we see lots of ... what shapes are those?
- TeacherAndrew S. asks, "How close up does SEM go?"
Bugscope Teamwe can go to a million times but it does not look good that high; the best we can do and get publishable images is about 200,000x.
- Bugscope Teamwasps can have as many as 17,000 ommatidia in one compound eye
- Bugscope Teamthis is some plant material that is stuck to the surface of the eye
- Bugscope Teamhere the ommatidia do not all look like hexagons
- TeacherIt looks like one of the legs of the insect ripped off!
Bugscope Teammaybe! it is very small and looks like a fiber to me
- Bugscope Teamthis looks like a piece of plant fiber, and looks like SJ agrees
- 8:56 am
- TeacherLauren asks, "How do butterflies survive?"
Bugscope Teamone thing that helps butterflies survive is their scales -- the scales on their wings, which seem like powder to us. If a butterfly flies into a spiderweb, the scales stick to the web but the butterfly can slip out.
Bugscope Teamoften their colors will help butterflies camouflage as well.
Bugscope Teamalso some butterflies are poisonous, like the monarch. Monarch butterflies eat from the milkweed plant, which is poisonous to a lot of creatures. This makes the monarch poisonous too. Because of this some spiders will know to just cut them free from their webs
- TeacherJasmine asks, "How many years can a queen bee last until it dies?"
Bugscope Teamthey can live for up to 5 years
- Bugscope Teamhere you can see that the fruitfly has tiny setae in between the facets of its compound eye
- TeacherJamie asks, "Do you like your jobs?"
Bugscope Teamwe like our jobs a lot. We don't just do bugscope, though that alone is fun. We work in a laboratory with a lot of different microscopes. We get to see a lot of different technologies because of it. It never gets boring around here
- Bugscope Teamthe setae we see help the fruitfly sense touch and wind, and especially the direction of the wind
- 9:01 am
- TeacherRobert asks, "How are spiders, praying mantis and fire ants like butterflies?"
Bugscope Teamthey are all arthropods, which means that they have jointed bilaterally symmetrical bodies, but otherwise they are different.
- TeacherHi Joe!
- Guest EntomologistHi
- Bugscope Teamhere you can see that the caterpillar has five eyes on this side of its head, called 'stemmata.'
- Bugscope TeamHi Joe!
- TeacherCould you take a photo of this? Cool!
Bugscope Teamwhich was that? sorry -- I was typing...
Bugscope Teamit was of the eye I believe
- TeacherAlexs Tulli asks, "How many eggs can a lady bug lay?"
Bugscope Teamthey can lay up to 50 eggs
- Guest EntomologistI think that really varies with the species of ladybugs
- TeacherThe pic of the fruit fly eye with the hairs.
Bugscope Teamokay we can do that after this session
- Guest Entomologistif i had to guess i would guess high hundreds
- TeacherJamie asks, "How many bugs do you collect a day?"
- Bugscope Teamladybugs are thought to lay both fertile and infertile eggs so that the larvae that hatch have something to eat
- TeacherBreanna asks, "Are black ants and red ants poisonous?"
Bugscope Teamsome of each type can be poisonous -- there are so many ant species
- Guest Entomologistthat depends on how you go about collecting your insects, depending on the trap, you can get very little or a lot in a day.
- 9:07 am
- Guest EntomologistI have had traps with zero bugs and others with hundreds
- Bugscope Teamthis is the face of the caterpillar, and you can see things on its face that look like spinnerets; some caterpillars produce silk, like a spider
- TeacherLauren asks, "What bugs do you have?"
Bugscope TeamLauren it varies with us because we use them up for Bugscope; we don't use them more than once
- TeacherAlexis L. asks, "Why do butterflies have to have special scales on their wings to fly?"
Bugscope Teamthe scales are much like feathers, on a bird's wing, and they need enough of them to get 'lift' in the air
- TeacherJacob asks, "Why are queen termites so big when they are pregnant?"
- Bugscope Teamto a flying insect, the air feels very thick, like water does to us
- TeacherHow much time is left for us?
Bugscope TeamJoyce because we were planning to start at 9 our time, we actually have another 50 minutes.
- Guest Entomologisttheir abdomen is enlarged from the number of eggs in there
- 9:12 am
- TeacherLauren asks, "Why do flies like our food?"
Bugscope Teamprobably, in part, because we often eat sweet things; many flies have sponging mouthparts and use them to dissolve the food so they can suck it up
- TeacherYou have made 19 second graders very happy and cheering!
- Bugscope Teamthat is great news!
- TeacherTrent asks, "How big is a queen bee?"
Bugscope Teamthey vary in size but can be two inches long
- TeacherAndrew B. asks, "Can we see a germ?"
Bugscope Teamwe can see germs -- like bacteria -- if they are there
- Guest Entomologistthey can vary a lot in size, some are tiny and can be smaller than some ants, and others are huge like horse flies
- TeacherEmma asks, "How big are flies?"
Bugscope Teamflies vary in size from quite small -- some of the smallest insects can be flies that are less than a millimeter long
- TeacherRobert asks, "Why do caterpillars eat milkweed?"
Bugscope TeamMonarch butterfly caterpillars eat milkweed because the toxins in it protect them from predators
- Bugscope TeamMonarch caterpillars do not get poisoned by eating milkweed, whereas it would be very bad for us.
- 9:18 am
- TeacherWe may have a disruption in our computer link...we will keep going in the meantime.
Bugscope Teamuh oh! things look good from here!
- Bugscope Teamthis is special salt from a Wendy's restaurant
- TeacherJamie asks, "Are water spiders an insect?"
Bugscope Teamwater striders are insects, but spiders that can walk on the water are arachnids. if they have eight legs they are not insects.
- TeacherAlexis T. asks, "How could a ladybug be a beetle?"
- Bugscope Teamsalt from other restaurants is not as cool
- Bugscope Teamladybugs are also known as lady beetles
- Guest Entomologistit's a beetle because the forewings have been odified into a hard shell
- Guest Entomologistladybug is actually a misnomer
- Guest Entomologistthe technically correct name is ladybird beetle
- Bugscope Teamthat basically means beetles have a pair of sheathed wings
- TeacherHi to Cate and where is Scot?
Bugscope TeamScot is SJ and Chaos actually
- 9:23 am
- Bugscope Teamhaha
- Guest Entomologisti think it has something to do with a mark on the underside of their wings
- Guest Entomologistthe question mark butterfly has a mark that distinguishes it from the comma butterfly
- Guest Entomologistotherwise they are pretty similar
- TeacherAndrew S. asks, "What is the difference between the comma butterfly and the question butterfly?"
Bugscope Teama comma butterfly has white markings on the underside of the wings that look like a comma; a question mark butterfly has a series of marks on the hindwings that resemble a question mark
- TeacherAidan W. asks, "Everyday looking at bugs, do they ever freak you out?"
Bugscope Teamwe get used to it, and we don't get to do this every day, so it is still fun!
- TeacherJamie comments, "Bugscope rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Bugscope TeamThank you, Jamie!
- TeacherConnor asks, "What is the difference between a millipede and a centipede?"
Bugscope Teamcentipedes are usually flattened and millipedes are more round. Each millipede segment has 2 pairs of legs, while the centipede has 1 pair per segment. The millipede has no venomous legs while the centipede does
- Guest Entomologistcaterpillars also have legs, although their legs are smaller
- 9:28 am
- TeacherTrent asks, "How can a bee and a flower be partners?"
Bugscope Teamthe flower attracts the bee with its color, sometimes, and also with its scent, sometimes. the bee knows it will be able to feed on nectar from the flower, but there is also pollen in the flower that sticks to the bee. as the bee visits other flowers, it spreads pollen around, and other flowers get pollinated by the pollen that they did not produce.
- Guest Entomologistinch worms for example have a characteristic movement where they steady themselves with their prolegs stretch out straight and then pull the back part of their body towards the front to inch forward
- TeacherBreanna asks, "How long do caterpillars walk until they turn into a butterfly?"
Bugscope Teamit depends, of course, but maybe 4 to 6 weeks
- Guest Entomologistoh haha i missed a word in that question, thanks scott
- TeacherWe have noticed that a lot of the bugs have hair.
Bugscope Teamthey use those hairs to help them sense what is going on around it. They are connected to nerves that are underneath their hard and unfeeling exoskeleton. The hairs can do things like sense touch (like cat whiskers) or feel temperature changes or sometimes even taste/smell
- TeacherAlexis T. asks,"How big are ladybugs when they are babies?"
Bugscope Teamthey are very tiny, but you can see them; then they turn into ugly pupae that are larger than the beetles will be
- TeacherRobert asks, "Why are butterflies in the forests of Mexico?"
Bugscope Teamthey are there so they can mate, and they can also feed there, plus it is safer
- Bugscope Teamcaterpillar 'prolegs' have lots of little hooks in them called 'crochets'
- 9:33 am
- TeacherJasmine asks, "How long have you been doing this job?"
Bugscope TeamI have been doing this job for more than 13 years, and we started Bugscope at the same time I got here.
- Guest Entomologist hey scott this is an aside, but will you be at the lab in the afternoon? i have some ants from jo to drop off.
Bugscope Teamyes I will. totally cool.
- TeacherAlexis T. asks, "Why are parent lady bug's larvae close up look blue and yellow?"
Bugscope TeamI think that having those alternating colors helps disguise them from predators. I am not sure if they already taste bad, but as adults they are known to taste bad and the red color is a warning that they are not good to eat.
- TeacherTrent asks, "Why does the queen bee have to be queen of the hive?"
Bugscope Teamthe queen gives the orders to the other bees to keep the hive running. Without her or any other queen the hive will die off.
- Bugscope Teamthis is where one of the ant's antennae broke off
- Guest Entomologistthat's a great question, and i'm not sure we know the answer, but the general reply would be that the queen is in charge so that the workers can focus on gathering food for their young while the queen spends her time and energy on egg laying
- Guest Entomologistthis allows social insects like bees, ants and termites to have gigantic colonies as all the individuals are working together, which helps them survive against a number of hazards
- 9:38 am
- TeacherConnor asks, "Is the treehopper's thorn real or fake?"
Bugscope Teamit is a fake thorn that makes it look like part of the tree, but it is part of the body, and as part of the exoskeleton it is hard, but not like a real thorn.
- Guest Entomologistthey can probably give you a small nip, but it's nothing more than a tickle to you
- TeacherAlexis T. asks, "Do ladybugs bite? Can you feel it or is the mouth too small?"
Bugscope Teamwe can feel it when they bite, although it is just annoying. the ladybugs that bite are usually not the common ladybugs but the recent species that have invaded the US.
- Bugscope Teamthis is the antenna, and we can see that the tip is broken off
- Bugscope Teamso cool!
- TeacherWell we will wrap up our session now, could you take a pic of that antenna?
- Bugscope Teamsure!
- Bugscope Teamhttp://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2011-170
- Guest Entomologistyup, she's right
- TeacherThe tip of the antenna is sooo cool. Lauren thinks that the end was broken off.
Bugscope TeamLauren is correct!
- TeacherWe think you are very kind to do this; it was awesome!
- Bugscope Teamthis is really fun for us as well
- TeacherThank you for letting us do this Bugscope and this was very cool!
- Bugscope TeamThank You for connecting with us today!
- Guest Entomologistthanks for all your great questions, it was fun!
- Guest Entomologistbye!
- Bugscope TeamI had copied the url to your member page below...
- 9:44 am
- TeacherWe think where got the bugs was very cool and we think that it was cool to see the bugs up close.
- TeacherWe think that it was really cool that we got to use the SEM because we got to see stuff very close and really far.
- Bugscope Teamthats great to hear!
- TeacherIt was really cool driving the SEM and it was so super when we got to see the different insects!
- TeacherIt was fun to hit the plus to make the salt cube go so much closer. We got to see the crystals inside.
- TeacherYou are the best scientists in the whole wide world!
Bugscope Teamhaha Thank You!
- TeacherWe think that the Bugscope is so cool. Jamie says he will go on it when he gets home today.
- TeacherBye everybody. See you next year!
- Bugscope Teamwe will have another live session Saturday evening...
- Bugscope TeamThank You!
- Bugscope TeamBye!