Connected on 2012-09-18 08:00:00
from Sullivan, Tennessee, United States
- 7:18 am
- Bugscope Teamgood morning!
- Bugscope Teamwe are just starting to set up
- TeacherGood morning, Scott! We are currently in homeroom and the students will soon be in the classroom ready for science. They are so excited!
- Bugscope Teamwe are connecting at 8 a.m., correct?
- Bugscope Teamit will take me a little while to make the presets -- to look over the sample and find cool stuff on it
- TeacherYes. 9:00 our time, correct?
- 7:24 am
- Bugscope Teamyes. I was concerned that we had a time mixup, in which case I would have tried to speed things up
- TeacherWe are ready whenever you are. I just logged on early.
- Bugscope Teamthe sample is in the 'scope and pumping down; after it reaches vacuum I will start making 'presets' for your session
- Bugscope Teamnow I have set the screen so you can see the samples within the vacuum chamber
- Bugscope Teamthe large thing that looks like a caterpillar is a tobacco hornworm larvae -- it is a caterpillar
- Bugscope Teamyou can see other things but they are difficult to make out -- a bee, a fly, an earwig...
- Bugscope Teamthe vacuum is almost ready
- Bugscope Teamplease do not drive the microscope while I am setting things up
- TeacherFantastic! We have the image. It is pretty dark and I am trying to adjust brightness, but it says another microscope control is pending. Advise. Well, I guess that answers my question.
- 7:31 am
- Bugscope Teamthis is an ant. when we see it at lower mag we can see that its head is crushed, a bit
- Bugscope Teamnow you can see that I am moving around the sample stub and trying to locate cool places
- 7:36 am
- Bugscope Teamthere is a mite!
- 7:44 am
- Bugscope Teamcan you see everything? this is a ladybug, not so cute when they're larvae
- TeacherWe can see the images!
- Bugscope Teamand this is pollen from a lily
- Bugscope Teamsoon I will be done and you may drive...
- Bugscope Teamthe ants are so very small that it is hard to handle them
- 7:50 am
- Bugscope TeamI think we have enough presets now
- Bugscope Teamyou are welcome to drive the microscope
- Bugscope Teamyou may also select from any of the presets on the lefthand screen -- the places we just located on the stub
- Bugscope Teamalso, please be sure to let us know when you have questions about anything
- Bugscope Teamright now we are looking at a spider's fangs at 650x
- Bugscope Teamwe can see one of the poison pores on the fang to the left
- Bugscope Teamthe dark area just to the left of center is where the poison comes out of the fang
- TeacherOk, thanks. We are ready to take an even closer look.
- Bugscope Teamplease let us know, also, if you have trouble operating the 'scope
- 7:55 am
- Bugscope Teamcool this is the head of earwig!
- Bugscope Teamnow you are looking at its mouth
- Bugscope Teamyou can see a compound eye to the right and down
- Bugscope Teamin the lower right corner
- Bugscope Teaminsects have little feelers on their mouthparts called palps
- Bugscope Teamthere are two sets of palps
- Bugscope Teamnot all insects, I should say...
- Bugscope Teamthe compound eye has lots of tiny lenses on it, so it gets lots of views of its surroundings
- TeacherWhat are we looking at that is in front of they eye?
Bugscope Teamthe curving thing that looks like an arm or leg is one of the palps
- Bugscope Teampalps help the insect manipulate food toward the mouth, and they also have sensors on them that help the insect taste its food
- Bugscope Teamin the lower left we see a 'knee'
- Bugscope Teamthat is the knee joint of one of the earwig's legs
- Bugscope Teamall insects have six legs, a head, a thorax, an abdomen, and two antennae
- Bugscope Teamnot all insects have compound eyes
- Bugscope Teamthe thorax is the 'chest' or 'trunk' area, and the legs are attached to it
- Bugscope Teamthis is an antenna
- Bugscope Teamsticking up toward a bee's wing
- 8:00 am
- Bugscope Teamthe antenna has many joints that make it flexible
- Bugscope Teaminsects do not have skin; instead they have a hardened shell
- Bugscope Teambecause they do not have skin, they do not have the ability to sense things touching their skin like we do
- TeacherWhat is on the antennae
Bugscope Teamat the top of the antenna -- the more gray rounded thing -- is the wing of a bee
- Bugscope Teamthe antenna also has a fiber stuck to it, and it has tiny hairs on it, called setae, that are sensory
- Bugscope Teamalmost every ant we see is a female
- Bugscope Teammales are kind of rare, and they have wings
- Bugscope Teamsee the compound eye and the two antennae?
- Bugscope Teamwe can also see the ant's mouth, toward the top of where we are looking now
- Bugscope Teamthe antenna is attached to the head by a ball and socket joint
- Bugscope Teamnow we see the ant's mandibles -- its jaws
- 8:05 am
- TeacherWhat is all over the mouth area?
Bugscope Teamthere is some mold there
- TeacherThe kids think she needs to shave.
Bugscope Teamhaha Yeah!
- TeacherIs that a tooth?
Bugscope Teamit is the tip of one of the jaws, and it is hardened but not really a tooth
- Bugscope Teamthe thing that looks like a tooth is the tip of the opposite mandible
- Bugscope Teaminsect jaws open from the left and right, like a gate
- Bugscope Teamthese are called crochets -- the little hooklike things
- TeacherWhat do they do?
Bugscope Teamcrochets are are on the 'prolegs' of the caterpillar, and they help it cling to surfaces
- Bugscope Teamthe larva has six legs, because it is an insect, of course. but it also has these little mounds with crochets in them called prolegs
- TeacherAre those the structures that feel like velcro when they cling to your hand?
Bugscope Teamyes the sharp parts are so small they don't hurt us
- Bugscope Teamthis is the head, now
- TeacherWhere are the eyes?
- Bugscope Teamyou can see lots of dots on the head; it is hard to tell which ones are stemmata, which is what the eyes are called
- Bugscope Teamsome of these bumps are eyes
- 8:11 am
- Bugscope Teamthey can have five or six eyes on either side of the head
- Bugscope Teamgnarly
- Bugscope Teamthe eyes are not very good; they are more like light sensors
- TeacherDo they really use them to see?
Bugscope Teamthey cannot see very well until they change into moths
- Bugscope Teamall spiders have venom that they inject into their prey
- Bugscope Teamthe venom dissolves the inner organs of the prey, and the spider is immune to its own venom; its sucks everything up like a milkshake
- TeacherCan we see where the venom would come out of the spider?
- Bugscope Teamthe black curved area we see now is a bit plugged up with dried venom, but that is one of the pores
- Bugscope Teamthat is not all venom; some of it is mold
- Bugscope Teamthe fangs are curved inward, and they are at the ends of larger things, like jaws, that are called chelicerae, or chelicers
- TeacherWe didn't know that dead bugs were so moldy. Does the mold come after they die or are they walking around with a certain amount on them?
Bugscope Teamthe mold comes after they die. it is always in the air, and an insect may have mold on it when it is alive, but the mold takes over when the insect dies
- 8:16 am
- Bugscope Teamsometimes our insects are more moldy than other times
- TeacherWhat type of spider are we viewing?
Bugscope Teamit is some kind of house spider, perhaps a wolf spider; often they are dried up quite a bit and it is hard to tell
- Bugscope Teamwe are looking at the spider from below
- Bugscope Teamnow we can see where the fangs are, at the tips of the chelicerae
- Bugscope Teamthis is a female spider. we can tell because its palps are small
- TeacherSo his/her eyes would be on the other side, correct?
Bugscope Teamyes I am sorry -- we have to make choices when we mount them
- TeacherWhy are spiders so hairy?
Bugscope Teamspiders are very sensitive to vibration, and the hairs help them sense vibration
- TeacherPerfectly okay. We don't usually turn our dead spiders upside down, so this is a good view. Thanks!
- Bugscope Teamsome spiders also have what are called 'urticating hairs' that they release when an animal gets too close
- Bugscope Teamurticaria means 'itching'
- Bugscope Teamthe spiders release those hairs to discourage dogs, for example, from sniffing them
- TeacherIs this used just against other insects or humans as well?
Bugscope TeamI think it is most helpful against humans and dogs and mice, etc.
- 8:21 am
- TeacherThanks again for the definition. One of the students was very busy looking it up.
- Bugscope Teamspiders can also sense when, for example, another spider has bitten one their legs and the poison is advancing toward the body
- Bugscope Teamwhen the spider senses that venom from another spider is within its leg, the spider can make that leg fall off
- TeacherHow big can the fangs grow in proportion to the spider?
Bugscope Teamthey have to be foldable, and they have to fit the chelicerae -- the chelicers need to be able to spread far enough apart so the fangs can actually bite
- TeacherWhat is a spider's favorite food?
Bugscope Teammost spiders eat insects, and they probably don't care what kind -- perhaps the most plump and juicy insects, though
- Bugscope Teamwhen the spider makes its own leg fall off, that is called 'autotomy.'
- TeacherGreat adaptation for survival. We are impressed with our bug buddies.
- Bugscope Teamspiders do not have a head and a thorax and an abdomen like an insect -- I think I forgot to say earlier that all insects have abdomens
- 8:26 am
- Bugscope Teamspiders, instead, have what is called a 'cephalothorax.'
- Bugscope Teamthat means, sort of 'head-trunk.'
- Bugscope Teamspiders of course have eight legs
- Bugscope Teamand they have two palps, one of which we can see well now
- TeacherWe are trying to view the ladybug larva, but it's not moving.
- Bugscope TeamI will take us there.
- Bugscope Teamthere is a tiny aphid stuck to the foreleg of the ladybug larva
- Bugscope Teamwe can see that the larva has six legs, and we can see its spiny body
- TeacherCan you point out the aphid?
- Bugscope Teamladybug larvae are predators of other insects just like ladybugs are predators of other insects when they grow up
- Bugscope Teamit is in the middle, up a bit, and looks like a bunch of small legs
- Bugscope Teamit looks like a jumble of legs
- 8:31 am
- Bugscope Teamthe circle we see above and to the right is a spiracle
- TeacherWhat is NE of that--dark spot?
Bugscope Teamthat is what insects use to breathe through
- Bugscope Teamthere are usually two spiracles per segment, on either side of the body segment
- Bugscope Teamspiracles are connected on the inside to tubes called tracheae that carry oxygen to the inner organs
- TeacherWhat is inside the spiracle?
Bugscope Teamso that the insect does not suck in a bunch of dust or fine particles, the spiracle has a kind of filter at the entrance
- Bugscope Teaminsects can open and close their spiracles, so they hold their breath that way (when they're closed)
- TeacherDo the larva eat aphids too?
Bugscope Teamyes aphids are softbodied, which is why the one we see that is dried up is hard to recognize. that makes them easy to bite into
- Bugscope Teamwe see that the ladybug larva has very few stemmata -- very few primitive eyes
- 8:36 am
- TeacherCan you tell male or female at the larva stage?
Bugscope TeamI don't know how. Often with insects it is hard to tell unless you break them open.
- Bugscope Teamwe can tell male mosquitoes from females because the males have very ornate antennae, and we can tell male earwigs from females because their pincers are different
- TeacherOne of my girls said that if this is the best looking one, she is glad she is not an insect.
Bugscope Teamhaha. I am glad not to be an insect as well. it would be a tough life, and quick
- Bugscope Teamwith spiders, we can tell males from females because the males have swollen palps, like boxing gloves. and of course sometimes the females are much much larger than the males
- Bugscope Teamthe parts sticking out are palps
- TeacherIs that its bottom jaw and is that another hard part of the jaw, a tooth, or hair?
Bugscope Teamthose are conical palps, which are the tasting and food manipulating feelers
- Bugscope Teamthis is the tip of one of the palps
- Bugscope Teamthese are akin to tastebuds on our tongues
- 8:42 am
- TeacherIs this mold again?
Bugscope Teamno but the texture does look similar to mold. It is the tip of a palp
- Bugscope Teamthis is about 20,000x magnified
- Bugscope Team5 microns is the same as 5 micrometers. a micrometer is a thousandth of a millimeter, and thus a millionth of a meter
- Bugscope Teambacteria, if there are any on these insects, are 2 micrometers long
- Bugscope Teamso we could see bacteria
- Bugscope TeamI think this is actually a yellow jacket, a kind of wasp
- Bugscope Teamyou can see its eyes, and its mandibles, and its antennae
- Bugscope Teamits face is kind of mashed
- Bugscope Teamyou can also see part of its tongue, in the lower left, and you can see lots of scales from moths or butterflies
- Bugscope Teamthis is the tongue
- Bugscope Teami hope that mold tastes good :)
- Bugscope Teamto the left is a bouquet of mold spores
- TeacherSo cool!
- 8:47 am
- Bugscope Teamthe mold spores are cute, like little kittens
- TeacherHahaha. We will agree to disagree. We prefer kittens, but we might not if they were magnified.
- Bugscope Teamoh okay
- Bugscope Teamthe mold spores look kind of like pollen as well. pollen takes lots of shapes
- Bugscope Teamthis is an ant's compound eye, with thirty or so facets
- TeacherIs this pollen on the ant eye?
Bugscope Teamit looks like a piece of dust or dirt. Maybe some sort of plant material
- Bugscope Teamthe eye facets are called 'ommatidia.'
- Bugscope Teamants get a lot more information about the environment from their antennae
- TeacherNo eyelids, so does it use its legs?
Bugscope Teamyes it does!
- 8:52 am
- Bugscope TeamI am not sure we can see them on these ants, but ants have built-in 'combs' on their forelegs
- TeacherDo they use the antennae for smell?
Bugscope Teamyes they do. ants are very sensitive to chemical scents\
- Bugscope Teamthere is the comb
- Bugscope Teamyou can see that the comb is rounded and will fit around the antenna like a brush
- Bugscope Teamit has tiny rigid setae on it like the combs we use\
- TeacherSuper! Now is this on the leg or the antennae?
Bugscope Teamthis is on the leg
- Bugscope Teamthe ant can use its leg to clean its antennae, and this is the part that wraps around the antenna
- TeacherOh. I think we got it now.
- TeacherSo these are used for gripping?
Bugscope Teamsort of loosely gripping the antenna and stroking it to get it clean of dust and small particles
- Bugscope Teamyou can see a spine there that helps the ant sense when it is touching something
- 8:57 am
- Bugscope Teamah this is one of the mites!
- Bugscope Teamthe mite does not have eyes, and it has a super tiny head
- Bugscope Teamthe mite looks like a very small beetle
- Bugscope Teamto the left is a scale from a moth or butterfly
- TeacherIs this the mouth?
Bugscope Teamwe are actually not sure how they feed. it is possible they feed through their feed, which look like little suction cups
- Bugscope Teamit is hard to get good information about mites. there is a book available but it is very expensive
Bugscope Teami think that is what Scot meant
- Bugscope Teamoh sorry yes feet
- TeacherAre they kind of like a leech?
Bugscope TeamI think they are, in a way. They are a kind of parasite, or at least a symbiont.
- 9:03 am
- Bugscope Teamthey live on insects, but we do not know if they eat food the insect does not eat, or whether perhaps they feed on hemolymph, which is the insect version of blood
- TeacherStudents want to know what the part is that has two stringy things coming off it?
Bugscope Teamwe think that is the head, and the stringy things are kind of like antennae
- Bugscope Teamthey look like feelers so it is most likely part of the head
- Bugscope Teamor yeah, like Cate said -- they could be more like palps
- TeacherThanks. We were a little confused.
- Bugscope Teamwe don't always know, on this end. we see some odd stuff, and when we work with entomologists we ask lots of questions
- Bugscope Teamthis is much like what a human hair looks like, but it has a smaller diameter
- TeacherAre all animal hairs segmented?
Bugscope Teamno they aren't all like this. Some are very straight. Some look like spirals
- TeacherYou'll get no complaints from us. We are amazed by what you do and are inspired to want to know more.
Bugscope Teamthis is super fun for us
- TeacherWe think they look a lot like antennae.
Bugscope Teamwhen we look at antennae, close up, we see lots of sensory setae, and we also often see what are called placoid (which means 'platelike') sensillae.
- 9:08 am
- Bugscope Teaminsects do a lot of chemical sensing. much more than people seem to do
- TeacherDo we know what type of beetle?
Bugscope Teammaybe Cate knows. it is a small beetle like a cucumber beetle
Bugscope Teamsome sort of small seed beetle maybe
- TeacherWe also would like to know why some beetles have wings but do not fly.
Bugscope Teamthey can probably fly but not very well, sort of in little bursts
- TeacherCan you identify all of the things we are seeing in and around the mouth?
Bugscope Teamthere are two sets of palps, mandibular and maxillary, and there are two mandibles, and there is a plate above the mouth that moves when the insect eats, the clypeus?\
- Bugscope Teamthere are lots of sensory setae that are likely mechanosensors (touch sensitive), and there are also thermosensory setae (hot/cold). and of course there are chemosensory setae, for taste and smell.\
- TeacherThe students have decided that this is not a view they would like to have prior to being eaten.
Bugscope TeamI think Cate and I would agree with that.
- 9:15 am
- TeacherDo insects have tastebuds and/or tongues?
Bugscope Teamsome of them have tongues; in a bee the tongue is called a 'glossa.' moths and butterflies have a long coiled proboscis that functions like a tongue; they uncoil it and extend it into flowers to obtain nectar.
- Bugscope Teamall insects have something like tastebuds, and they are often on the palps but can be elsewhere as well
- Bugscope TeamMonarch butterflies have chemosensory setae on their feet
- TeacherAre the 3 boxy structures the bottom jaw?
Bugscope Teamthose are components of the head, but in insect the jaws -- the mandibles -- go left and right. actually the whole mouth is very complicated; it moves several directions at once when the insect is chewing, if it is a chewing insect
- Bugscope TeamI'm sorry we do not have definitive answers on all of the mouthparts
- Bugscope Teamhere we can see more of the antennae, and we can see tiny setae (hairs) on them
- Bugscope Teaminsects are hairy -- that is, they have lots of setae -- because they do not have skin, like we do, with nerve endings in it
- 9:20 am
- Bugscope Teaminsects have an exoskeleton, which is a kind of shell. they don't have bones, which is one reason they are called invertebrates (they don't have backbones).
- TeacherWhat are the dark holes below the compound eyes? Same as the ladybug?
Bugscope Teamthe one dark area we see now is where the mandible folds open and closed
- Bugscope Teamif I am looking the same place you are. the mandible has hinges at the sides, very much like a gate
- Bugscope Teamor I should say the mandibles have hinges at their anchor points
- Bugscope Teamthis is where the jaw opens outward; this is the hinge of one of the jaws (mandibles)
- Bugscope Teamthe ommatidia -- the eye facets -- have a thin film on them. some dried fluid
- TeacherWe like to get all of our questions answered, but we are glad that you have given us things we can investigate further.
Bugscope Teamthat is a great way of looking at it!
- Bugscope Teamsome of the rigid setae we see -- the ones that look like bristles -- are for proprioception. which is self-sensing.
- 9:25 am
- Bugscope Teamyou can see that if one of the joints moves in a particular direction, the bristle will be touched or bent, and that sends a signal through nerves it is attached to that the joint has been moved
- Bugscope Teamso an insect can tell when one of its limbs is overextended
- TeacherWe had forgotten to think about the bones being on the outside, so it's neat to see the joints and hinges. We can see the way the bugs are built.
Bugscope Teamyeah isn't it cool?
- TeacherLooks like it lost an antennae.
- Bugscope Teamyes it did!
- Bugscope Teamit's all Cate's fault
- Bugscope Teamreally, these ants are so small it is hard to pick them up without hurting them
- Bugscope Teamyou can see from the scalebar at the lower left of the screen that the ant's head is about a half millimeter long
- TeacherNow lets not go blaming the hard workers.
Bugscope TeamI was just kidding, of course.
- TeacherIs that the base still inside?
Bugscope Teamyes part of the ball and socket joint is still attached to the head there
- Bugscope Teamwe think that the tiny setae we see on the top of the head are not sensory. they are microsetae, and they give the ant a pattern and a certain shininess; they also likely help with thermoregulation
- 9:30 am
- TeacherAre both jaws intact?
Bugscope Teamyes one is tucked beneath the other
- Bugscope Teamsome ants, like leafcutter ants, have serrated jaws that work like pinking shears, for cutting
- TeacherIs that how they work rather than joining one another?
Bugscope Teamyes when they slide past each other they can cut, like scissors
- TeacherGreat! We just had the scissors out explaining. Yeah!
- Bugscope Teamthis is another one of those mites
- Bugscope Teamsee how small the mite is compared to the size of its host?
- TeacherWhat is it on?
- Bugscope Teamit is on one of the earwig's legs
- 9:36 am
- TeacherAwesome perspective. We just had an aha moment in understanding magnification.
- Bugscope Team200 microns is a fifth of a millimeter
- Bugscope Teamthe mite is less than a fifth of a millimeter long. you can see them with your eyes, but they are quite small
- TeacherWell, a math lesson is coming up next.
- Bugscope Teamit is important to us to be able to set the 'scope up so you can appreciate size distinctions
- TeacherHow many mites can live on a piece of dust?
Bugscope Teamhaha I guess it depends on the size of the piece of dust. dustmites are super small but harder for us to image because they are softbodied like aphids and thus shrivel up when they die
- Bugscope Teamokay this is kind of cool -- let's stay here for a sec
- Bugscope Teamsee the very small things that look like soccer balls?
- TeacherTell us more.
- Bugscope Teamor kind of like whiffleballs?
- Bugscope Teamthose are brochosomes, and they are said to come only from leafhoppers.
- 9:41 am
- Bugscope Teamthey are less than a micrometer in diameter, usually 250 to 400 nanometers in diameter
- Bugscope Teamso those little balls we can barely see right now are the same size as the wavelengths of visible light
- TeacherWe just saw the amount of magnification and everybody said, "WOW!"
- Bugscope Teamthey are nanoparticles
- Bugscope Teamwhen we use this microscope for research (most of the time), we take the sample much closer to the polepiece, which is where the electrons come from
- Bugscope Teamwhen we use the microscope for Bugscope, we stay far away from the polepiece so we can also look at the whole insect]\
- Bugscope Teamthis is pretty cool.
- TeacherWe think you have one of the coolest jobs!
- Bugscope Teamyeah this seems like magic but it's real
- Bugscope TeamCate and I are lucky to have all of these fun instruments to work with.
- 9:46 am
- Bugscope Teamthe brochosomes were in a space between the ommatidia on the compound eye of an aphid
- Bugscope Teamthis is a cornicle, also called a siphuncle, on an aphid
- TeacherWell, we appreciate you both sharing What is that?
Bugscope Teamthis looks like an aphid cornicle maybe.
- TeacherPurpose, again?
- Bugscope Teamcornicles are often used in self defense against ants
- Bugscope Teamthey produce a wax-like fluid that hardens instantly and immobilizes an ant
Bugscope Teamthey drop wax that the ants will walk in and get stuck
- Bugscope Teamcornicles are like hot-melt glue guns
- Bugscope Teamalmost all insects have some sort of defense against ants
- TeacherSo, an aphid can take an ant?
Bugscope Teamhaha only until the next one comes along
- TeacherAre ants considered the gladiators of bugs? The ones to beat?
Bugscope Teamants are ruthless, like destructor machines; they are not easily stopped
- 9:51 am
- Bugscope Teamso I would say yes they are the ones to beat in most cases
- Bugscope Teamwhat is cool about leafcutter ants is that they are actually farmers
- TeacherNo one can live without farmers.
- Bugscope Teamthey cut different leaves from different plants and keep them in different places; they grow mold on the leaves and eat that
- Bugscope Teamthis is what lily pollen looks like
- Bugscope Teamit is lily pollen...
- TeacherWe think it looks like coral.
- Bugscope Teampollen comes in lots of shapes and sizes. sometimes it looks a lot like mold spores, but mold spores are generally smaller and softer
- 9:56 am
- Bugscope Teamwe are going to have to let someone else use the 'scope now...
- Bugscope Teamhttps://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2012-060
- Bugscope Teambelow is the link to the transcript for this session
- TeacherWe really hate to go, but it is past time to change classes. You guys have been more than gracious with your time. Thank you so very much! We look forward to returning.
- Bugscope TeamWe will be happy to have you back. Please be sure to apply early for a session that may be months away!
- Bugscope TeamThank You!
- Bugscope TeamThank You!
- Bugscope Teamwe hope to see you again!
- Bugscope TeamBye!