Connected on 2012-11-05 10:30:00
from Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, United States
- 10:38 am
- Bugscope TeamI'm sorry we had our own problems with the correct time.
- TeacherNo prolem. We will be ready when you are.
- Bugscope Teamokay sample is in the 'scope and pumping down
- Bugscope Teama second ago you could see me putting the sample in
- 10:44 am
- Bugscope TeamI'll put the detector back on CCD so you can see the inside of the vacuum chamber again
- Bugscope Teamnow you can see the sample inside the microscope vacuum chamber
- Bugscope Teamwe're waiting for the chamber to reach an adequate vacuum to start the electron gun
- TeacherWhat type of insect are we looking at first?
- Bugscope Teamit will go fairly quickly because the sample has been in a desiccator
- Bugscope Teamthere's a true bug, mosquito, moth, rolypoly, tobacco hornworm larva (caterpillar), some flies, a beetle
- Bugscope Teamwhen the beam comes up in a sec I will need to do some adjustments
- Bugscope Teamyou'll be able to watch from there
- Bugscope TeamI need to ensure that the electron beam is centered..
- Bugscope Teamso the large true bug...
- TeacherIs this the abdomen?
Bugscope Teamthis is the back of one of the claws
- 10:50 am
- Bugscope Teamtip of the proboscis
- Bugscope Teamyou can see that this is a leaf mimic
- Bugscope Teamplease let us know as you have questions
- Bugscope TeamJoe is here and can handle questions while I move around the sample stub
- TeacherCan we control this view now?
- Bugscope Teamyes if you would like you may control now
- Bugscope Teamyou can see the compound eye
- Bugscope Teamwith all of the facets, called ommatidia
- Bugscope Teamyou have it nicely centered
- TeacherMy students are interested in a close up view of the eye.
- Bugscope Teamyou can bring the mag up now
- 10:55 am
- Bugscope Teamsome ants have very simple compound eyes
- Bugscope Teamyou can see some moth scales on the surface of the eye
- Bugscope Teamplease let us know whenever you have questions
- TeacherThey want to know if each lens sees the same thing or if they get a panoramic view of the world?
- Bugscope Teamsome moths and wasps (ants are related to wasps and bees) have as many as 17,000 ommatidia per eye
Bugscope Teamit is my understanding that the images are processed in the brain into a panoramic view
- Bugscope Teamcompound eyes give their owner a better peripheral viewing capability, and also -- importantly -- they update constantly quickly so that the insect can detect motion very quickly
- 11:00 am
- TeacherWhat is the darker part we see in the eye?
Bugscope Teamthat is a place where there was some kind of debris before the sample was coated with gold-palladium; the debris came off after coating and left that shadow
- TeacherExplains why flies are hard to catch!
Bugscope Teamyes plus they have lots of mechanosensory setae that help them sense the wind from your hand
- Bugscope Teamants have built-in combs on their forearms that help them clean their antennae
- Bugscope Teamand this ant would have been cleaner when it was alive
- Bugscope Teamit has a cool set of serrated mandibles
- TeacherThey are interested in focusing on the mandibles.
- Bugscope Teamyou can see that one of the antennae is broken completely off
- Bugscope Teamthey can cut like scissors, like pinking shears
- Bugscope Teamleafcutter ants have similar serrated mandibles
- TeacherAre those sensory hairs on the mandibles?
Bugscope Teamyes they are
Bugscope Teamthey most likely help with sense of touch
- Bugscope Teamwe are often surprised at how hairy insects are, but it makes sense -- they have an exoskeleton and need to have setae that project through it in order to sense their environment
- 11:05 am
- TeacherWhat is their function?
Bugscope Teamthey can help with the sense of touch. It's hard to feel anything through their tough shell. So to help the insect know when it is brushing up against something, or in this case chewing into something, they have these hairs to help
- Bugscope Teamhaving an exoskeleton rather than an endoskeleton like we do is like wearing a suit of armor
- Bugscope Teamsome of the hairs (setae) are thermosensory, and some are chemosensory
- Bugscope Teamsome of the spines or bristles are used for proprioception -- for self sensing.
- Bugscope Teamyou can see another moth scale -- it looks like a small leaf
- TeacherThat does make sense due to the fact that they would not have skin receptors like we do.
- TeacherWe are taking a better look at the antennae
- Bugscope Teamants have a straight, unbending portion of the antenna right after it comes out of the ball and socket joint we see now, whereas wasps have more continually flexible antennae
- 11:11 am
- Bugscope Teamants -- almost of them we see are female -- get most of their information from other ants, for example, via chemical signals that are most often picked up by the antennae
- Bugscope Teamyou can see now that this ant also has ocelli -- simple eyes -- on the top of the head
- TeacherIs there a reason why the wasp has a more flexible antennae?
Bugscope Teamthe wasp needs to be able to fold its antennae to get into the hive, if it has a hive, and also likely for better streamlining when it flies
- Bugscope Teamthis is an uncommon ant with its very sophisicated compound eyes and ocelli as well
- Bugscope Teamit seems like most insects with ocelli are flying insects
- Bugscope Teamthe background we see now is silver paint we used to help the ant stick to the stub
- Bugscope TeamI am at the 'scope and can move it fairly quickly to what we are talking about.
- Bugscope Teamyou can see that the ant has three ocelli
- TeacherThe simple eye is on the top of the head. Is there a reason for that? You often see them near the compound eye.
Bugscope Teamit's at the top of the head where it can detect light. There are usually 3 and are usually on flying insects only. They are called ocelli and help with navigation by reading the direction of the sun
- 11:17 am
- Bugscope Teamthe cephalotes ants have them on the tops of their heads as well, so they can detect predators that might be entering the tunnels they are guarding with their big wide heads
- TeacherA student wants to know if the lines we see on the surface of the head are unique to a species. Kind of like a fingerprint?
Bugscope Teamthey may indeed differ in some ways between species
- Bugscope Teamthey can be different between species. Some will be more pronounced or more wrinkly. Other species may have more hair.
- Bugscope Teambecause they are so fine and most entomologists do not use electron microscopes, the characteristics they use generally use for species keys will likely use other features
- TeacherWould they be different between individuals or between genders?
Bugscope Teamthey can be different between different castes of ants, likem soldiers, workers, etc.
- TeacherCan we view the mosquito now?
Bugscope Teamhere it is
- Bugscope Teamwe can tell from the antennae that this is a female. females are the ones that bite.
- TeacherThey are very interested in the mouthpart.
- 11:22 am
- Bugscope Teamwe can see the exterior of the proboscis coming up toward us, bottom right
- TeacherWhat do male antennaes look like?
Bugscope Teamthey're fancy, complex
- Bugscope Teamthey have cutting mouthparts that are like steak knives. Another mouthpart will inject an anticoagulant into the cut to keep the blood from clotting. Then she will quickly fill up on her blood meal
- Bugscope Teamthe cutting mouthparts form a fascicle that has four cutting blades, a siphon tube with two chambers in it, and another piece
- Bugscope Teamhere there is a lot of juju right at the tip of the proboscis
- Bugscope Teamthe fascicle is inside this
- TeacherWhat is the function of the scales on the proboscis?
Bugscope Teamwith insects that have scales, one primary function is to keep them from getting caught in spider webs
- TeacherDo those hooks grasp the skin?
Bugscope Teamthey are likely, some of them, chemosensory/thermosensory
- Bugscope Teamsome may be CO2 detecting
- Bugscope Teammoths, butterflies, silverfish, mosquitoes, and few other insects have scales
- 11:27 am
- Bugscope Teamthe proboscis is a sheath that is slit down one side so that the fascicle can come out
- Bugscope Teamyes they do!
- TeacherThey look like ruffles!
Bugscope Teamyes they do!
- TeacherThey suddenly got very hungry! I have a strange class! :)
- Bugscope Teamthe ridges make the scales more rigid, but not for picking up dip without breaking\
- Bugscope Teamneed some dip to go with those ruffles
- TeacherCan we go back to the head and antennae.
Bugscope Teamnow we see one of the eyes, with all of the rounded ommatidia, and we also see the base of the antenna, called a pedicel
- Bugscope Teamplus the antenna is coming up toward us; its more utilitarian, not as pretty as those of a male
- TeacherAre those scales above the antennae?
Bugscope Teamyes! here we can see them better
- Bugscope Teamscales are modified setae themselves
- 11:33 am
- TeacherWe are almost out of time. Can we see the caterpiller?
- Bugscope Teamthere we go!
- Bugscope TeamCaterpillars have a lot of simple eyes and no compound eyes
- TeacherDoes it have limited peripheral view?
Bugscope Teammost likely yes since the eyes don't wrap around the head like most compound eyes do
- 11:39 am
- TeacherThis has been a great experience! Thank you so much!
- TeacherThe appendages look like they are meant to grasp branches.
Bugscope Teamyeah they are perfect for that. Their hind likes are really just a bunch of hooks, so they are great for hooking into the leaves and branches/twigs. They help keep them rooted
- Bugscope TeamThank you for all your great questions!
- Bugscope TeamI hope you and your class had a great experience
- TeacherWe did. We all learned something new!
- Bugscope Teamthat is great to hear