Connected on 2013-01-14 09:30:00
from Jefferson Davis, Louisiana, United States
- 7:58 am
- Bugscope Teamsample is pumping down...
- 8:09 am
- 8:15 am
- 8:22 am
- 8:29 am
- 8:36 am
- 8:42 am
- 8:47 am
- 8:52 am
- Bugscope Teamwe are ready to roll..
- 8:57 am
- Bugscope Teamthis is a female housefly
- Bugscope TeamGood morning, Ms. Matte!
- Bugscope TeamWelcome to Bugscope!
- 9:02 am
- Bugscope TeamYou have control of the microscope now, as you can see.
- Bugscope Teamplease let us know whenever you have questions, of course
- TeacherGood morning!
Bugscope TeamGood morning!
- Bugscope Teamthe bright things that are now centered are the bases of the fly's antennae
- Bugscope Teamthey're bright because they're charged up with electrons
- TeacherStudents are not in my classroom just yet. They'll be entering in about 15 minutes. just trying out the controls
- Bugscope Teamsuper cool
- Bugscope Teamyou should be able to click on any of the presets on the lefthand screen, and the 'scope will drive to that position
- Bugscope Teambelow the lobes of the antenna bases you can see palps in the fly's mouth area
- Bugscope Teamyou can also, now, see the detail of the compound eyes -- you can see the ommatidia
- Bugscope Teamthe sponging mouthparts are covered with dried goo
- Bugscope Teamthat's why they look like they're dirty -- they are dirty
- 9:08 am
- TeacherStudents say "EWWWW"
Bugscope Teamhaha yeah it is kind of gross
- TeacherThey also want to know that if the antenna have an electrical charge, then could they shock you?
Bugscope Teamit is such a small charge... when we vent the microscope it will go away -- it will go to ground
- Bugscope Teamyou can see that one of this centipede's antennae is broken off
- Bugscope Teamnow we can see that antenna
- Bugscope Teamif the antenna was still in place we would not have been able to see the compound eye
- Bugscope Teamthe bumpy things we see on the bottom help the centipede lock its prey against its mouth so it can bite
- 9:14 am
- Bugscope Teamnow we've moved up, of course, and we see crossed palps (accessory mouthparts) plus the top of one the mandibles, plus of course the compound eye, which has only 20 or so facets, also called ommatidia
- 9:20 am
- TeacherStudents want to know what the little hairs are used for and what are they called?
Bugscope Teamthey are called setae (pronounced see-tee). they help the centipede feel what is going on around it- kind of like cat whiskers
- Bugscope Teamthis stinger has a very long shaft, and it is also flexible. since we made the stinger preset, the stinger moved over, and we just found it again.
- Bugscope Teamthe edges of the stinger are serrated like a steak knife and help the wasp insert it into its prey
- 9:25 am
- Bugscope Teaminsects and comparable arthropods like centipedes and spiders do not have skin, and they do not have bones inside them like we do. Instead, they have what is called an exoskelelton -- a skeleton on the outside of the body. That is made of chitin, and it is a shell, like a shrimp shell.
- Bugscope Team'exoskeleton'
- Bugscope Teambecause insects have a shell, kind of like if we were wearing armor, they need to have the setae Cate mentioned, and those we see here, to help them sense their environment
- TeacherStudents want to know are these setae as well?
Bugscope Teamyes they are!
- Bugscope Teamsetae can be mechanosensory -- to help sense touch and vibration and wind
- Bugscope Teamsetae can also be chemosensory, meaning that they can be used to smell the air or taste things by touching them
- Bugscope Teamand setae can be thermosensory, giving the insect/arthropod the ability to sense hot and cold
- TeacherCan they bite?
Bugscope Teami think when they see us, their first instinct is to scurry away. If we tried to get them to bite us I don't think it would work because their mouthparts are so small
- 9:30 am
- TeacherWhat do they eat?
Bugscope Teamstarch amd sugars, mostly
- Bugscope Teamthey like the starches that are found in bookbindings, and that is why one reason we see them in houses so often
- Bugscope TeamLepisma saccharina is one of the silverfish genus species names. It tells us that the silverfish likes sugar.
- Bugscope Teamwith some flies, like this one, we can tell the difference between males and females
- Bugscope Teamin many fly species, the eyes of the females are far apart, like in this fly
- Bugscope Teamthe eyes of male flies are close together, sometimes almost touching
- 9:35 am
- Bugscope Teamthis fly has sponging mouthparts
- Bugscope Teamwhen it lands on something it might want to eat, it can taste it using some of its chemosensory setae, like those on its palps, which are accessory mouthparts
- Bugscope Teamthey vomit out digestive juices and then sponge up the resulting digested liquid
- Bugscope Teamhere we can see the sponging mouthparts, and we see ridges, beneath the dirt, that have muscles beneath them that allow the mouth to move and to sponge up liquids, as Joe said
- Bugscope Teamsome flies, like deerflies and horsesflies, have slashing/cutting mouthparts
- Bugscope TeamThey're probably cleaning their legs so that the chemosensors on them are clean
- 9:41 am
- TeacherStudents want to know why they rub their front legs together after landing on your food?
Bugscope TeamI think it is because they want to keep their legs clean. at the ends of the legs are claws, and near the claws are pads called pulvilli -- a single pad is called a pulvillus. the pulvillus has lots of what are called tenent setae on it that allow the fly to stick to vertical surfaces
- TeacherThe eyes look like speaker covers!
Bugscope Teamhaha Yes they do!
- TeacherAlso, is the eye distant the only way to tell from first glance male/female?
Bugscope Teamsome male flies have more feathery antennae, whereas females have simpler antennae
Bugscope Teamsome also have distinct external genital features that are different between the sexes
- TeacherWhat are the black specs on their eyes?
Bugscope Teamif you take the magnification up you can probably see what those specs are
- Bugscope Teamsometimes it is just dirt, and sometimes it is pollen; sometimes we see scales from moths or butterflies or silverfish on the surfaces of the eyes
- TeacherSo are they shedding/
Bugscope Teamcould be!
- Bugscope Teamthey look like little flakes of something, don't they?
- 9:47 am
- TeacherLooks like fur on the edge of the eye
Bugscope Teamthe microsetae form what looks like fur. that is called the vestiture, kind of the 'dressing' of the head
- Bugscope Teamthis moved as well from the time we made the preset
- Bugscope Teamit is a small spider that was for some reason on the centipede's body
- TeacherWhat are we looking at?
Bugscope Teamthe thing pretty much in the middle is a spider -- you can see where a lot of legs are missing
- Bugscope Teamthe larger thing with the armored-looking segments is the lower body of a centipede
- Bugscope Teamthis is cool
- Bugscope Teamwe can see the beetle's mouthparts quite well here
- Bugscope Teamthe jagged curve in the middle, top, is the division between the mandibles, which open left and right like a gate
- 9:52 am
- TeacherExplain the mouth parts please
Bugscope Teamthere are 2 sets of palps- a pair of short ones sticking out and a pair of ones that are curving around. The palps help the beetle taste or move around food
- Bugscope Teamso palps are accessory limbs, like small extra legs that help the insect feed
- Bugscope Teamthe tips of the palps often have little nubs on them that function like tastebuds on your tongue
- TeacherWhat are the beak looking parts?
Bugscope Teamthose are the mandibles - the jaws. they are closed together right now
- Bugscope Teamso they are very much like the halves of a beak, but they open left and right instead of up and down
- Bugscope Teamthey are made of chitin, and often they are hardened with minerals like zinc or calcium
- TeacherWhat species of beetle is this?
Bugscope Teamwe are not sure about this. Joe thinks it might be a rove beetle, but it is hard for us to tell
- Bugscope Teamthe things we are looking at now are moth scales
- 9:57 am
- Bugscope TeamI am sitting at the microscope -- the SEM
- Bugscope Teamscanning electron microscope
- Bugscope Teamso sometimes I 'help' with driving
- Bugscope Teammoths, butterflies, silverfish, mosquitoes, and few other insects have scales
- Bugscope Teamthey are actually setae, modified into a fan shape
- TeacherWhy do they have these scales between their eyes? What is the purpose?
Bugscope Teamone thing scales do is help the insect escape from spider webs
Bugscope Teamthe area between the eyes are the palps, and other moth parts, so it's most likely that the scales are there to protect the structures.
- Bugscope Teamthey come off very easily -- they are the 'powder' that comes off a butterfly's wings when we rub them
- Bugscope Teamthey provide color, in two forms, and they likely help the insect regulate its temperature as well, plus on the wings they seem to function sort of like feathers do on a bird
- Bugscope Teamew but cool Joe
- Bugscope Teamscales form the colors we see on butterfly wings. some of the color comes from pigment, and some comes from the shape and size of the tiny ridges that form the shape of the scales
- TeacherWhy do moths eat our clothing?
Bugscope Teamwools is just another dead animal skin/hairs, and that's what the clothes moths are eating
Bugscope Teamclothes that are made from cotton, silk and synthetic fibers won't have this problem
- 10:03 am
- TeacherSo they eat other animals?
Bugscope Teamyeah, i guess you can say that. They're an important part of nutrient recycling in nature, but they just happen to be considered as pests for humans since we use furs and wools for clothing
- Bugscope Teaminsects and similar arthropods, as well as large animals, are opportunists, and if there is something they can eat, some animal will be doing that
- Bugscope Teamtrue story.
- TeacherOne class is ending, and another beginning. Will be done for a few minutes while classes switch
- Bugscope Teamok
- Bugscope Teamok thanks for letting us know
- 10:08 am
- 10:13 am
- Bugscope Teamhello!
- Bugscope TeamCool! Welcome to Bugscope!
- Bugscope Teamthis is a beetle we have not been able to identify
- Bugscope Teamhere is a wasp
- Bugscope Teamreally interesting mandibles
- Bugscope Teamthey don't quite join together
- Bugscope Teama lot of insects only live for a month or two
- TeacherDo they setae die like our hair?
Bugscope Teamonce an insect loses its setae, they generally do not grow back -- if the insect is an adult
- 10:18 am
- Bugscope Teamnow we see the compound eyes
- Bugscope Teamthis wasp has a super long stinger that is also, as they often are, an ovipositor
- Bugscope Teammost wasps and bees and ants you see are females
- TeacherCan you tell male/female by the distance of the eyes on wasps as well?
Bugscope Teamthat trick does not work with ants, wasps, and bees, which are all related.
- Bugscope Teambut as Cate says, almost all of the ones we see are females. Anything with a stinger is a female.
- Bugscope Teamhere we see the serrated edges of the stinger that help it cut into the body of its prey
- 10:23 am
- TeacherWhat do wasps eat?
Bugscope Teamthey eat a variety of things: some like sugar, or nectar from flowers
Bugscope Teamyellow jackets are important predators of insects, and they also will eat most things, meats, fruits, whatever.
- Bugscope Teamwasps with super long ovipositors/stingers like this often attack caterpillars, and the long stingers allow them to stick past the 'fur'
- TeacherWhat are stingers made of?
Bugscope Teamthey are made of hardened chitin like the mandibles; chitin is what the exoskeleton
Bugscope Teamthe stinger is actually a modified ovipositor, no longer used for egg laying, but rather associated with releasing poison instead.
- Bugscope Team'what the exoskeleton is made of' I meant to say earlier
- Bugscope Teamhey this is cool
- Bugscope Teamthere is a tiny flying spaghetti monster on the surface of the silverfish's exoskeleton
- Bugscope Teamit seems to be a kind of plant that flies through the air
- Bugscope Teamsilverfish are covered with scales that give them that silver appearance
- 10:28 am
- Bugscope Teamthe scales are loose, as in butterflies, moths, and mosquitoes, and they get stuck to spiderwebs and allow the insect a better opportunity to escape
- Bugscope Teamthis is the housefly
- Bugscope Teamthe top branched portion of the antennae is called the aristate antenna
- Bugscope Teamthe bottom portion of the antenna is lobed
- 10:33 am
- TeacherHow many eyes do they have?
Bugscope Teamthey have two compound eyes with perhaps a few thousand ommatidia, and they have three simple eyes on the top of the head, called ocelli
- Bugscope Teamsome large wasps have as many as 17,000 ommatidia per compound eye
- Bugscope Teamthese are the fly's sponging mouthparts
- Teacherhow did it get its name?
Bugscope Teamthey are called silverfish because of their color, silvery grey or blue, and because they have a sort of fish-like movement
- Bugscope Teamthere is a lot of dried liquid on the mouthparts, and it is hard to see the spongy portions, but you can see the ridges in some places
- Bugscope TeamNow we see one of the compound eyes, and the furry part to the left (we cannot see it just now) is called the vestiture
- Bugscope Teamthe individual facets of the compound eye -- the lenses -- are called ommatidia
- Bugscope Teamhaving compound eyes gives insects, often, better peripheral vision because of the dome shape
- 10:39 am
- Bugscope Teamthis is something we have never seen before, and we are not sure just what it is
- Bugscope Teamalso, compound eyes have an advantage over eyes like ours in that they are much more sensitive to changes in the visual field, meaning that they register motion much more quickly
Bugscope Teamhowever the resolution of the image is a lot lower.
- Bugscope Teamthis is the mouth of the centipede
- TeacherExplain the parts of the mouth please
- Bugscope Teamthe tooth-like elements help hold the prey so the centipede can pierce it with its mandibles
- Bugscope Teamjust above those are the mandibles, pointy and closing side to side
- Bugscope Teamthe mandibles are kind of more like fangs here and they are curving into the mouth opening
- Bugscope Teamand above those are two palps
- 10:45 am
- Bugscope Teamcentipedes inject venom into their prey to kill/immobilize them
- Teachercan they bite us?
Bugscope Teamthey can, and especially the large ones in the Tropics
- Bugscope Teamthey are venomous, but as Scott (as SEM) said, the ones in the tropics are the dangerous ones to humans
- Bugscope Teamthis is a rove beetle
- Bugscope Teammostly what we see here are mouthparts, again
- Bugscope Teamwith the 2 sets of palps it has, it kind of looks like there is an insect trying to climb out of its mouth
- Bugscope Teamants often look like that as well
- Bugscope Teamrove beetles are mostly predators of other insects
- Bugscope Teamthe black stuff looks like some liquid is dried all over it
- TeacherWhat are the black holes all over its body?
Bugscope Teamif we look at them up close I think we will see that they are small particles, or as Cate says, dried liquid
- Bugscope Teamthey appear black because they are kind of oily, and the blackness is where they are absorbing and not emitting electrons
- 10:51 am
- Bugscope Teamthe specimens we are looking at today are in the vacuum chamber of the scanning electron microscope (SEM), and the images come to us as electrons are scanned across the surfaces of the insects/arthropods
- TeacherWhy do they have a cracked appearance?
Bugscope Teamthe cracks are in the surface of the cuticle, or chitin -- what the exoskeleton is called; the cracks show us how the cuticle formed
- Bugscope Teamthe exoskeleton is made of a protein similar to what our fingernails are made of
- Bugscope Teamwe see those cracks in part because some of the oily goo on the surface has run into them and highlighted them
- Bugscope Teamit gives us an idea of how the protein formed into tiny interlocked segments and became the exoskeleton
- Bugscope Teamthank you!
- TeacherOur class period is ending. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer our questions!
Bugscope TeamThank you, Ms. Matte!
- Bugscope TeamThank you for connecting with us today!
- Bugscope TeamThank you! See you next year!