Connected on 2015-04-28 12:15:00
from Contra Costa County, California, United States
- 11:26 am
- Bugscope Teamsample chamber just reached vacuum
- Bugscope Teamstarting setup for today's session
- 11:32 am
- 11:38 am
- 11:43 am
- 11:49 am
- Bugscope Teamhi mrs. o'shea
- Bugscope Teamwelcome to bugscope
- TeacherHi Scot!
- Bugscope Teamwe are going to finish up presets, then we can hand you the controls
- TeacherThe class says hello!
- 11:54 am
- Bugscope Teamhi class!
- Bugscope Teamyou can see the bee's pollen basket now
- Bugscope Teamso cool and actually rare for us
- Teacherwhat is a pollen basket
Bugscope Teamwhen bees go from flower to flower they have these kind of sidesaddles with pollen in them...
- Teacherso we are looking at the basket the bee holds the pollen in to take to another flower?
Bugscope Teamwe were -- sorry we are still setting up
- Teachertake your time!
- 11:59 am
- Bugscope Teamthat was a mite but it was covered with wax
- Teacheron purpose?
Bugscope Teamwe think it is a protective measure they take, but it makes them quite difficult to see
Bugscope Teammany insects, maybe most of them, have claws, like we have hands
- Teacherthe kids ask if bugs really look like monsters close up like they do now?
Bugscope TeamI think we can say yes. If we had a ladybug larva, they are super creepy...
- Teacheralso why is the mosquito so sad?
Bugscope Teamits eyes are shrunken down to where we can hardly see them
- 12:05 pm
- Bugscope Teamthis is a male mosquito, still kind of sad
- Bugscope Teamwe are ready to roll!
- Bugscope Teamand you now have control of the microscope
- Teacherany suggestions to start?
Bugscope Teamanywhere that looks interesting to you
- Bugscope Teamthis is the underside of a plant leaf; we found some mite or aphid eggs here among the trichomes
- Teacheryou are quick!
- Bugscope Teamwhat looks kind of like Easter grass is fungus
- Teacherwhat kind of insect eggs are these?
Bugscope TeamI am sorry we do not know exactically what kind of eggs those are
Bugscope Teamthey could be mite or aphid eggs
- Bugscope Teami think that webbing helps to keep the eggs on the leaf
- Teacherwhat does the fungus do or where does it come from?
Bugscope Teamfungus or mold: it can be found in the air and lands on things that are moist, often. it begins the decay process
- 12:10 pm
- Bugscope TeamCate thinks that is web, from the insect that laid the eggs, to help stick the eggs to the leaf surface.
- Bugscope Teamthis is the head of a trapjaw ant
- Bugscope Teamthey walk around with their jaws open, sometimes so wide that they resemble oxen, with widely spaced horns
- Bugscope TeamSorry -- you can see where Cate took the ant's head off so she could give us a head-on, head-off look at it.
- Teacherwhere do trapjaw ants live?
Bugscope Teamthey live all over, but it always seems like the more exotic and larger ones live in the Tropics, or somewhere far from us.
- Bugscope Teamthey snap their jaws to catch their prey, but they can also snap their jaws with such force that they fly backwards through the air, for example to escape from a predator
- 12:16 pm
- Bugscope Teamtheir exoskeleton is made of chitin, which is similar to our nails- keratin
- Teacherwhat makes these ants so fragile?
Bugscope Teamthey are very small and hard to pick up. I smashed them a bit.
- Teacherhow is an ant's skeleton different than a human's?
Bugscope Teamtheir skeleton is on the outside, like a suit of armor, or like a shell
Bugscope Teamour skeleton is on the inside
Bugscope Teamit makes a difference in part because insects do not have skin, with nerve endings in it; instead they have a shell, or exoskeleton
Bugscope Teaminsects, in order to help sense their surroundings, have many tiny setae, or hairs, that help them feel, smell, sense hot/cold...
- Teacherhow big are the fagile ants compared to the trapjaw ant?
Bugscope Teamthey are only about 2 mm long, whereas in comparison the trapjaw ants can be 2 cm long -- 10 times larger
- TeacherAre these adult ants?
Bugscope Teamyes they are!
- 12:22 pm
- Teacherwhere do you get your samples?
Bugscope Teamwe have friends among the entomologists, and we also sometimes collect insects ourselves; my mother sends them, even, which can be disappointing if you think you might have received some cookies and it is just insects.
Bugscope Teamif insects get into the house they are fair game; we catch them and freeze them so we can look at them this way.
- Teacheris the beetle inside the mciroscope?
Bugscope Teamthey are all dead and inside the chamber of the microscope right now
- Teacherthe class is wondering how you prepare the samples for the microscope?
Bugscope TeamCate takes a 2.75-inch-diameter aluminum disc and puts doublestick carbon tape on it; then she places the insects on that, sometimes with silver paint to help them stick down and also so they will conduct eletrons better.
Bugscope Teamoops "electrons"
Bugscope TeamCate then coats the insects and similar arthropods with gold-palladium -- a very thin coat
Bugscope Teamthe gold-palldium is only a few nanometers thick, but it makes the surfaces of the insects conductive.
Bugscope Team"gold-palladium" alloy
- Bugscope Teamthese are the mandibles and also palps of a beetle
- Teacherwhat are the hairs we see here?
Bugscope Teammost are mechanosensory- for the sense of touch. but there are some around the mouth that might help with tasting and smelling
Bugscope Teamthose help filter food and may also be sensory
- 12:28 pm
- Bugscope Teamthis is the tip of one of the beetle's palps, with little tastebuds on it
- Bugscope TeamSorry I'm late guys! Did the kids already ask about trap-jaw ants?!!
Bugscope TeamI... I think they did. Frowny face :(
Bugscope Teamthey asked where they come from, and we did not give a myrmecologically perfect answer
Bugscope TeamThe trap-jaw ants currently under the scope are in the genus Odontomachus, which are pantropical - they occur all over the world, primarily in the tropics. the highest centers of diversity are in southeast asia and tropical central and south america. We also have a few species in the US restricted to the southwest and southeast, primarily in Florida. The specimen currently under the scope is from Brazil.
- Teacherare the dots pores like people have?
Bugscope Teamsome of them are perhaps comparable
Bugscope Teamif you go to the spiracle image you will see a pore that helps bring oxygen to the inner organs of the insect
- Bugscope Teamsee the beetle's compound eyes, on either side of its head?
- TeacherIS the palp located on the mandible?
Bugscope TeamNo, palps are separate structures that are usually right below the mandible
Bugscope TeamAdditionally, there are two sets of palps, maxillary and labial
- 12:33 pm
- TeacherIs the bulbous, hairy looking thing a pollen collector too?
Bugscope Teamnot on purpose
Bugscope Teamit can swell with hemolymph and fill a tiny crevice, helping the bee hold onto a surface
- Teacherlets go back to the ant head for a moment
- 12:39 pm
- Teacherhow does the trap jaw mechanism work?
Bugscope Teamwe need to save the answer for Josh, but they have trigger hairs that set them off
Bugscope TeamOdonto- means 'tooth,' and -machus means 'thrower'
Bugscope TeamBecause they can throw their whole bodies by snapping their mandibles together.
- Bugscope TeamJosh is pretty much stoked about this kind of stuff.
- TeacherDoes Josh have some cool facts about the ant head?
Bugscope Teamant head facts are a significant percentage of his existence right now
Bugscope TeamDid Scott tell you about how the trap-jaw mechanism works?!!! I COULD TOTALLY DO THAT!!!! :D
Bugscope TeamTrap-jaw ants have evolved an amazing mechanism to capture prey. They are have extremely long mandibles that they are able to lock open at approximately 180° using a latch located at the base of the mandible, allowing them to contract their mandibular closer muscles without closing the mandibles, creating a build up of elastic potential energy within the head capsule. When prey comes into contact with long intermandibular trigger hairs, a second group of fast contracting muscles contract, releasing the mandibles at astounding speeds
Bugscope TeamSome species of Odontomachus have mandible snaps that reach speeds of over 60 meters second, which is about as fast as a bullet and is one of the fastest animal movements currently known.
Bugscope TeamIn addition to using their mandibles for prey capture, trap-jaw ants can also use their jaws to jump, aiming their jaws at the ground to launch them vertically into the air when they are in danger of being attacked by other ants or other kinds of predators
Bugscope TeamAnd incredibly, this mechanism has evolved not once, not twice, not even three times, but at least FOUR TIMES IN ANTS!!! AND POSSIBLY AS MANY AS SEVEN TIMES!!! ITS CRAZY COOL!!!! :)
- Teacherwow cool!
- Bugscope Teamkind of like a trophy in someone's den, above the fireplace
- Bugscope TeamCate made this for Josh.
- Bugscope TeamWe are currently looking straight down the mandibles, which are closed. you can see they have three teeth at the end of their mandibles. these help concentrate the force of their strikes onto a small surface area, which increases the amount of pressure the mandibles apply to prey when they snap and increases the likelyhood that they puncture the prey and cause serious damage.
- 12:46 pm
- Bugscope TeamAlright guys, I have to get to class. Thanks for tolerating my trap-jaw rant :) enjoy the rest of your bugscope session!
- Bugscope Teamthe pollen basket is located on the 'bee's knees', so to speak
- Bugscope Teaminteresting that we see what appear to be different types of pollen
- Teacheris the pollen basket on the leg of the bee?
Bugscope Teamyes it is!
Bugscope Teamone of the hind legs, on the outside
Bugscope Teamthere are setae around a concave portion of the leg, kind of like a thigh, and there are fewer setae where the pollen stick
- Teacherare these pollen grains from different flowers? They look different
Bugscope TeamI think this was a very busy bee.
Bugscope TeamTook its job as a pollinator quite seriously.
- Teachersome are spiky and some have craters like the moon!
Bugscope Teamyes! so cool!
- 12:52 pm
- Bugscope Teamthis is special salt we are not sure of being able to get any more
- Teacherand that is pollen inside? How much and how long does the bee collect the pollen?
Bugscope TeamWorker bees actually switch jobs throughout their life, they being life by cleaning the hive, then move on to brood care. After brood care they work building combs, creating wax, and getting rid of dead bees. Then they become protectors of hive. Finally they are able to leave the hive and collect pollen and they do that until they day. Worker bees live about 40 days and they spend about half of those days out collecting pollen
- Teacherwhat is this?
Bugscope Teamsalt from wendy's restaurants
- Bugscope Teamthe sodium and the chlorine form a cube when they become sodium chloride, which is table salt. But here something is interrupting that process and causing the salt to look like it was incised by super tiny sculptors
- Teachercan you tell us about the bead like structures here?
- Bugscope Teamthe donut-like things we see here are called pedicels, and they are the bases of the antennae
- Bugscope Teamthe things that look like long Ruffles potato chips are scales, which the mosquito is covered with
- TeacherI guess those aren't eyes....
- 12:57 pm
- TeacherAlso, what is coming out of the mosquitos eyes?
Bugscope Teamthose are antennae, and the things that seem to be eyes are the pedicels
Bugscope Teamthe compound eyes are almost completely deflated
- Teacherwhat do the scales do?
Bugscope Teamthey provide some color, and they can also be shed, sometimes, if the insect gets stuck in a web
- Bugscope Teamthese are ommatidia, the individual eye facets. there are hundreds of these in each compound eye
- Teacherso their eyes can see from many points?
Bugscope Teamtheir eyes are normally swollen into domes or even near-spheres, and they can indeed see around them very well
- Bugscope Teamthe individual features we see now on this one ommatidium are so small they are on the nano scale, about 100 nm each
- Teacherso they let the scales go to get free?
Bugscope Teamhaha Quite the opposite if the trick really works
Bugscope Teamthe scales stick to the spider's web, and the moth or mosquito or butterfly or silverfish goes free
- 1:03 pm
- Bugscope TeamMrs O'Shea I did not read your message correctly about the scales. You were exactly right.
- Teacherwhy is there bacteria here?
Bugscope Teambacteria will eventually land on something, especially after it dies
- Teacherso it just fell here?
- Bugscope Teamthere are bacteria all over this insect
- Bugscope Teamthis just happened to be one of the better areas to image it
- Bugscope Teamor something with bacteria on it rubbed on that place
- Bugscope Teamwith ticks we often see bacteria; with fresh insects we do not, so often
- Teacherwhy are the bees eyes so big?
Bugscope Teama lot of flying insects will have big eyes that cover almost the entire head, so it can see all around it
- 1:08 pm
- Teacherwhat does the hair do?
Bugscope TeamIt probably helps the bee sense wind, and gauge wind speed, and I believe it also helps bees thermoregulate, or keep their temperature stable.
- Teacherwhat is this bump on his eye?
Bugscope Teamsome kind of juju that got stuck there, likely after the bee died.
Bugscope Teamlike dried fluid of some sort
- Bugscope Teamplease let us know if you were trying to drive to a different place. the microscope stage just bound up, a bit
- Bugscope Teamthere it is
- Teacherwhat is a true bug?
Bugscope Teamno this is a a beetle - true bugs have piercing sucking mouthparts
Bugscope TeamCicadas are true bugs :)
- Teacherthis is it!!
- Bugscope TeamYou can really see this guys mouthparts well!
- 1:13 pm
- Bugscope TeamYou can also see a hole in its body - it's likely that this insect was pinned at some point
- Teacherare tjhose mouthparts that look like antennae?
Bugscope Teamthe mouthparts are folded in toward the body and go straight down the front of the body
- Teacherwhat do the sucking mouthparts do?
Bugscope Teamthey are piercing/sucking mouthparts like those of a cicada or bedbug or aphid or stinkbug, and they pierce leaves and sometimes branches, allowing the insect to suck up fluids like sap
Bugscope Teamthese mouth parts are different from mosquitoes though! Even though mosquitoes do technically pierce and suck, their mouthparts are not jointed like you see in true bugs
- TeacherCool! My class is BUGGING out they had so much fun!!!!
- Bugscope Teamawesome!
- Bugscope Teamwoo!
- 1:18 pm
- Bugscope TeamSweet!
- Bugscope TeamJosh must be off doing some ant-related thing but we will tell him you all had fun.
- TeacherHUGE Thanks we are so limited with science and field trips here
Bugscope TeamI'm really glad you guys enjoyed this! We all had fun as well :)
- TeacherWe are going to review the archives and research that ant head!!!
- TeacherHAve a great day off to lunch!!!!
- Bugscope TeamThank you, Everyone! We had a good time!
- Bugscope TeamBye!
- Bugscope TeamHave a great day! Bye!!