Connected on 2012-06-07 10:00:00
from Harris, Texas, United States
- 10:01 am
- Bugscope Teamwe are all set to go!
- 10:07 am
- Bugscope Teamhello!
- Teachersorry we are late. We are having technical difficulties but are almost ready to go
- Bugscope Teamno problem
- Teacherwe have 3 classes. the first will be 9-12 year olds. the second will be 5 and 6 year olds then the 7 and 8s will be last
- Bugscope Teamthis is the head of a parasitic wasp. The 3 bumps on top of the ocelli, which are simple eyes
- Bugscope Teamthe ocelli read the light to tell which way it is going
- 10:17 am
- Teacher9-12 year olds here. My name is Mr. Riley. How are you this morning?
- Bugscope Teamthese are scales from a butterfly wing. I'm not sure what type of butterfly. It had orange and white on it
- Bugscope TeamHi Mr. Riley and everyone!
- Bugscope Teamthese scales are found all over moths and butterflies. They give color to the insect and also help it to fly more efficiently- like the feathers on a bird
- TeacherPerhaps it's a Monarch butterfly, says one student.
Bugscope Teamno it wasn't, but that's a good guess
- Teacher"Thank you". :)
- Bugscope Teamthe scales sometimes have pigment granules in them, but most often they provide structural color. That means that the lights bends off the ridges in such a way that you see color
- 10:23 am
- TeacherDo the scales help to keep the butterfly dry as well?
Bugscope Teaminsects are very small- most water just beads on them. They don't often get wet like we do. I think the scales would help repel the water a little
- TeacherCool! Thanks!
- Bugscope Teamthis ant came from houston. Scott, who isn't here right now, got them while visiting his family
- TeacherNeat! Nice to see a local on here.
- Teacher"Ants don't sting-they bite" says one student. So what type of ants sting instead of biting for defense?
Bugscope TeamUnlike many other ants, which bite and then spray acid on the wound, fire ants bite only to get a grip and then sting
- TeacherWow! That's really interesting!. "i never knew that". :)
- Bugscope Teammost ants you see are female. Same is true for wasps and bees
- 10:28 am
- Bugscope Teamtheir stinger also works as an ovipositer- where the eggs come out
- TeacherAlso: "How do they mate if they are mostly female? Don't you need males to mate?"
Bugscope Teamthe males stay in the colony or hive. Their only purpose is to mate
- Teacher"How do these ants mate if there is a nasty stinger in the way?"
Bugscope Teamonly the queen mates, but all the girls have a stinger anyway. I don't think the stinger hurts the male, but I'm not entirely sure about how their mating works. Sorry
- TeacherThat's ok. That's really interesting. Thanks!
- TeacherThat's from a student.
- 10:33 am
- Bugscope Teamhere is salt from wendy's restaurant
- Bugscope Teamit has an anticlumping agent in it that gives it this aztec shape
- TeacherThat's really neat! "How many atoms is this crystal made of?"
Bugscope Teamlots! sadly we can't see individual atoms with this microscope. If we were to use the atomic force microscope we could begin to see all the little bumps of the atoms
- TeacherDo you know what the anti-clumping agent is? That's really interesting.
Bugscope Teamno and sadly wendy's recently changed their salt to a type of sea salt and it doesn't look cool anymore. It looks like normal salt with is just a cube with rounded edges
- TeacherWow! That's really sad, but it's probably for the best. :)
Bugscope Teamyeah it's probably healthier
- TeacherIndeed! So what are we looking at here?
- Bugscope Teamhere is a head from a houston ant. The little rounded bumpy area in the upper area of the screen is the eye
- 10:38 am
- Bugscope Teamthe lower part of the screen is the start of the mandibles
- Bugscope Teamhanging off towards the left is a broken antenna
- Bugscope Teamthe antenna would normally attah where it looks like it has a nose
- Teacher"What is the curved line running down the middle of the head?"
Bugscope Teamthat is a piece of debris. Maybe lint or a plant fiber
- 10:44 am
- Teacher"What did this ant eat?"
Bugscope TeamIn general they like sweets. Some farm honeydew from aphids. Others will grow a fungus to eat. Or they forage for plants and fruit
- TeacherVery neat! Well, we have to go and relinquish the scope to the 5-6 year olds. Thank you so much! Have a great rest of your morning! Bye!
- Bugscope Teamthank you for your great questions!
- 10:49 am
- TeacherHi! this is Tiffany & the 5 & 6 yr old class!
- Bugscope TeamHi Tiffant and everyone!
- Teacherwhat are we looking at today?
- Bugscope TeamThis is an ant, most likely a fire ant since one of the others has a stinger.
- Bugscope Teamthese came from Houston
- Teacherwe certainly have a lot of those!
- Teachercan we see a stinger?
- Bugscope Teamthe head is here. You can see the round eye near the top middle of the screen
- Bugscope Teamsure!
- Bugscope TeamSo you can see the sharp stinger poking out
- Teacherwow! can ants sting over and over, or ar they like bees?
- Bugscope Teamalmost all ants we see are females
- 10:55 am
- Teacherhow many times can they sting? do they keep producing the poison? Or is it a one time sting and then they die?
Bugscope TeamThey can sting multiple times. These ants use acid, but if it's anything like wasp and bee venom, they can run out of it. They will not die until you squish them :)
- Teacherwhat other bugs do you have?
- Bugscope Teamhoneybees have barbs on their stingers, which when they sting you, cause them to get stuck in your skin. So when they pull away, the muscle attached to the stinger gets pulled out of them and they die.
- Bugscope Teamhere is a ladybug larva, which doesn't look as cute as their adult form
- Teacherare those spikes on it's back?
Bugscope Teamyes! They probably help protect the larva from being eaten
- Bugscope Teamsome caterpillars have big spikes on their backs like these to help protect them in the same way
- Bugscope Teamwe also have salt crystals, pollen grains, a fly, a beetle, a small lizard foot to look at
- Teacherwe have a lot of Gulf Coast Fritallary caterpillars here! They're very spiky
- Bugscope Teamoh and some aphids and butterfly scales
- Teacherwe would like to see a fly mouthpart
- 11:00 am
- Bugscope Teamso this fly has a sponging mouthparts, but there are some flies that bite like horseflies
- Teacherwhy aare they so "hairy"?
Bugscope Teamgood question! Insects have a lot of hairs on them. The hairs help them feel things through its tough exoskeleton.
- Bugscope Teamthere are also specialized hairs that help them to taste or smell on some places on the insect
- Bugscope Teaminsects do not have skin like we do, with nerve endings in it that sense touch, and hot/cold
- Teacherneat! kind of like cat's whiskers? Okay, can we also see the beetle?
- Bugscope Teaminsects do not have noses, either
- Bugscope Teamso the setae (the 'hairs') that stick through the exoskeleton can sense touch, hot/cold, and also chemical scents, or smell
- 11:06 am
- Bugscope Teamspecific setae sense specific things
- Bugscope Teamsome of the bristles we see are also for self-sensing, so that an insect can tell when it is overextending one of its limbs, for example
- Teacherso all insects have them?
Bugscope Teamyes and many other arthropods like spiders and scorpions
- Bugscope Teamspiders have lots and lots of hairs that help them sense and then interpret vibration
- Teacherwhat kind of beetle is this?
Bugscope Teamthis is some sort of small plant beetle, like a cucumber beetle
- 11:11 am
- Bugscope Teamspiders, some of them, also have what are called 'urticating hairs' that they release as airborne irritants. So for example if a dog is sniffing a tarantula, the tarantula releases urticating (means 'itching') hairs that get caught in the dog's nasal passages and discourage it from bothering the tarantula.
- Teacherhow would you describe this mouthpart?
Bugscope Teamyou can see the mandibles in the middle- they open like a hinged gate. There are also 2 sets of palps that look like feelers. Those are responsible for tasting or moving around food
- Bugscope Teamyou can see how the mandible is shaped like a fork, or like a 'spork'
- Teacherthat thing about the tarantulas is SO cool!
Bugscope Teamthey are very fragile, easily breakable, as you know
- TeacherHow many eyes do they have?
Bugscope Teamthey have two compound eyes with perhaps 200 or 250 individual facets that are like lenses, called ommatidia
- Bugscope Teammany flying insects, especially, also have three simple eyes, called ocelli, on the top of the head
- Bugscope Teamif you had compound eyes like this, you would have a much better view of what is around you without having to turn your head
- 11:16 am
- Teacheranother question from the group is why are some insects so scary looking?
Bugscope Teamthere is an advantage in looking fierce, with big eyes, for example; think about the butterflies with eyespots on their wings
- Bugscope Teaminsects may be scared by the same things that scare us. sometimes when you surprise a grasshopper, it takes off quickly and spreads its bright orange wings. that might be enough to make a potential predator pause for a split second so the grasshopper can get away
- Teacherthank you! do you have any antennae to look at?
Bugscope Teamyes we do!
- Teacherwe are curious how they work and what they are used for
Bugscope Teamantennae can be turned in directions that might be useful, and they are often loaded with scenet receptors. Male moths often have ornate antennae that not only look cool to females, presumably, but also are very sensitive to pheromones, which are like perfume from females, attracting males
- Bugscope Teamoops you can see that I misspelled 'scent'
- 11:21 am
- Bugscope Teamthese antennae are on a male mosquito. Yiou can tell it's a male when the antennae are all frilly
- Bugscope Teamthey are probably the mosquito way to attract mates
- TeacherI like male mosquitoes! It's the females I wish we had less of :)
- Bugscope Teamyes i think we could all do without the females
- Teacherwhat do male mosquitoes eat?
Bugscope Teamsome males don't eat anything, others may eat some plant nectar
- 11:27 am
- Teacher1 last question and then we will send in the 7-8 yr old class: What is the biggest moth in the world?
Bugscope Teamit's called the atlas moth. they are found in the tropics of asia
- Teacher:) Thank you so much Cate & SJ!!! Ya'll are fantastic!
- Bugscope Teamtheir wingspan is around 10 inches
- Bugscope Teamthe white witch moth has a slightly larger wingspan but the wings aren't as big surface area-wise
- TeacherHi Cate and SJ the 7 and 8 year olds are here
- 11:32 am
- Bugscope TeamHi everyone!
- Teacherwhat is the function of the sort of oval shaped thing below the antenna?
Bugscope Teamabove the mandibles there is kind of a lip type of overhang on the beetle. It might help to keep the food from falling out
- Bugscope Teamnow the big ball that is bumpy is the eye
- Bugscope Teaminsects have compound eyes, which means it is made up of many lenses
- TeacherHarper wants to know how many eyes the beetle has
Bugscope Teamthey have 2 compound eyes, but there are probably a couple facets between the 2
Bugscope Teamand when i say between the 2 I mean in total
- 11:38 am
- TeacherIzzi notices that by the mandibles there are two large pointy things and two smaller pointy things below. are these part of the mandibles or something else?
Bugscope Teamthose are palps. They help taste or move around the food
Bugscope Teamthere are special hairs on them that help with the tasting. Similar to tastebuds
- Bugscope Teamhere we can see one of the same things on the ladybug face
- Bugscope Teamthe thing that looks like a vacuum cleaner nozzle is one of the palps that Cate mentioned
- Teacherwe know this is a ladybug but exactly what are we looking at?
Bugscope Teamthis is the ladubug's face, but it has lots of stuff on it, mostly food
- Bugscope Teamyou can see the ladybug's right eye just to the left of center
- Bugscope Teamladybugs eat other insects, smaller ones, and they prefer aphids because they are small and softbodied and presumably tasty
- Bugscope Teamat the end of almost all insect legs are claws
- Bugscope Teamso a lot of the stuff we saw was aphid parts
- TeacherSo is this one foot of the fly?
Bugscope Teamyes it is!
- Bugscope Teamit's so cool because we can see how the fly clings to the ceiling
- TeacherHarper asks what the furry things are in the middle
Bugscope Teamthat is the right place to look! the 'fur' is tenent setae that are sticky
- 11:43 am
- Bugscope Teamthe furry things are called pulvilluses
- Bugscope Teaman individual pad is called pulvillus
- Teacherwe know this is the underside of the fly so what are all the hairs?
Bugscope Teamthe hairs help the fly sense its environment
- Teacherso the pulvillus is the foot?
Bugscope Teamthey are the little pad of fur on the foot
- Bugscope Teamsome of the hairs, or bristles, help the fly feel when it has something in its grasp
- Teacherso is the background the rest of the foot or the thorax that we are seeing?
Bugscope Teamit is most likely the thorax, which is what all of the legs -- all six legs -- are attached to
- Bugscope Teamin this case the background was another leg!
- Bugscope Teamin flies, the females' eyes are often far apart, whereas those of males are often close together
- 11:49 am
- Bugscope Teamnow we are looking at butterfly scales. when you stroke the wings of a butterfly and fine powder comes off, it it these things
- TeacherCan you give them an idea of the actual size of this scale? We see that it is magnified 2211x but hard for them to fathom
Bugscope Teamto us the scales seems like tiny flakes of powder
- Bugscope Teamscales are kind of like feathers but quite small
- Teacherso is the middle one scale?
Bugscope Teamyes now we see it a little better
- Teacherwhy are the scales curved and scalloped instead of flat?
- Bugscope Teamyou can see at the bottom of the image that 50 micrometers (the scalebar) is about the width of a human hair
- Bugscope Teamscales are loose, and one reason for that is so that if the butterfly flies into a spiderweb, it might be able to slip out by leaving its scales stuck to the web
- Bugscope Teammosquitoes, moths, and silverfish also have scales
- Bugscope Teamsome scales aren't as ridged as this
- Teacherclara wants to know what the scles are for.
Bugscope Teamscales help the insect to fly more efficiently. They also give color to the insect- by using both pigment granules and structural color
- Bugscope Teamthe spacing of the ridges in the scales produces colors that can change with the angle at which you are viewing the wing
- Bugscope Teamwhen light hits the little structures on the scales, the light bounces back in such a way that we see color
- Teacherhow many scales are on one wing?
Bugscope Teamthere are many thousands of scales
- Teacherwhat type of butterfly is this?
Bugscope TeamI'm not sure. It's not a monarch. Though it has white and some brownish orange color
- 11:54 am
- Bugscope Team scales are actually setae as well
- Bugscope Teamthey are considered modified setae
- Bugscope Teamif a butterfly loses too many scales it cannot fly
- Teacherwhat is a setae?
Bugscope Teamsetae are the things that we call hairs or bristles on insects
- Bugscope Team'see-tee' is how it is pronounced, and a single one is called a seta
- TeacherThanks so much for all your time and answers. We love Bugscope at the Arboretum. See you again later this summer! Have a great weekend.
- Bugscope TeamThank You!
- Bugscope TeamSee you later! We look forward to it.
- Bugscope TeamBye!