Connected on 2011-10-12 13:00:00 from Kane, Illinois, United States
- Bugscope Team sample is in 'scope and pumped down...
- Bugscope Team and we are making presets for today's session
- Bugscope Team Hi Mr York!
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Bugscope Team this is the surface of a wasp wing
- Bugscope Team please feel free to drive, and let us know if you have any questions
- Bugscope Team on the lefthand screen you can see the preset positions we have saved for today's session
- Bugscope Team you can click on a preset to have the 'scope drive to that place on the sample stub
- Bugscope Team wasp claw
- Bugscope Team this is a tarsomere
- Bugscope Team if you take the magnification down, to low mag, you can use click to center to drive around the sample stub
- Bugscope Team in small increments
- Bugscope Team these are interesting mechanosensory setae on the forearm of the praying mantis
- Teacher We will be ready for you at 1:00 sharp
- Bugscope Team cool
- Bugscope Team http://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2011-077
- Bugscope Team all of your images and the chat text will be stored on your member page, which is copied below
- Teacher we are going to start with the praying mantis because it is the one we are most interested in!
- Bugscope Team hey cool
- Bugscope Team you can see its head now, and its large compound eyes
- Bugscope Team its antennae broke off sometime after it died
- Bugscope Team at the front of the head, facing us, is the mouth, and the extra appendages we see are palps, which help the praying mantis taste its food as well as manipulating it into its mouth
- Bugscope Team we do not see the tips of the mandibles, which are under that central flap
- Teacher how long are their anteenae and what are they used for?
Bugscope Team the antennae may be a few millimeters long, depending on the size of the praying mantis. antennae have lots of chemosensory setae on them that help the mantis smell the air
- Bugscope Team many insects get chemical information about their environments from the air
- Bugscope Team ants get much of the information they use to make decisions through their antennae
- Teacher How many lenses are on the compound eye?
Bugscope Team perhaps 5000 per eye; in some flying insects like large wasps there may be as many as 17,000 individual facets, called ommatidia
- Bugscope Team many flying insects also have three simple eyes, called ocelli, on the top of the head
- Bugscope Team now we are looking at one of the compound eyes of an ant, which has much fewer ommatidia
- Bugscope Team the images from the ommatidia form a larger mosaic-like image that allows the insect to see large parts of the area around it
- Teacher What are the hairs and dust particles between the lenses used for?
Bugscope Team the hairs are often mechanosensory, like cat or rat whiskers -- they are sensitive to touch, and wind
- Bugscope Team some of the hairs, which entomologists call 'setae,' pronounced see-tee, are thermosensory, and many are chemosensory.
- Teacher Does that many lenses help to see objects coming at them better than humans?
Bugscope Team yes it does! that is because with so many lenses the insect gets instant updates about what might be approaching it
- Bugscope Team and also, because the compound eye may wrap around the head, the insect can see in many directions without turning its head
- Bugscope Team having a combination of compound eyes and setae that can sense wind allows a fly to easily avoid being smacked
- Teacher Is the net-like structure under the hairs part of the exoskeleton?
Bugscope Team yes it is -- those little plates are how the exoskeleton formed, and they make it tougher
- Bugscope Team this is one of the six sets of claws the Japanese beetle uses to grasp things
- Bugscope Team sometimes claws open and close in a different manner; these seem to fold and unfold in one plane
- Bugscope Team insects have six legs, a head, a thorax, and an abdomen
- Bugscope Team often they have claws at the ends of the lefs
- Bugscope Team oops 'legs'
- Teacher Are they trigger hairs like on the venus flytrap?
Bugscope Team they may use those hairs in a similar fashion, more controlled perhaps, to let them know when to close their claws
- Bugscope Team that is a good point -- many of the setae, or hairs, we see on an insect are for proprioception -- for self sensing
- Bugscope Team moths, butterflies, mosquitoes, silverfish, and very few other insects have scales
- Bugscope Team the scales on the silverfish's exoskeleton give it that silver color
- Teacher This appears to be very hairy. Are the hairs used for something special?
Bugscope Team it is often crawling in the dark, and the hairs help it sense when it is touching something; they might keep it from getting into a place it cannot get out of
- Bugscope Team also, however, the scales, which are actually modified setae themselves, fall of easily. we know that when we rub the wing of a butterfly -- they are the tiny powdery stuff that comes off.
- Bugscope Team if you have loose scales all over your body and you flew or walked into a spiderweb, you might be able to slip away -- the scales would be stuck to the web but you would get out
- Teacher We think we see the two antennae. Is there a proboscis coming out the other side?
Bugscope Team the two antennae are to the NE and SW
- Bugscope Team I believe the silverfish does not have a proboscis, but rather jaws, which we cannot easily see here
- Teacher Are we able to see the spiracles?
Bugscope Team if we looked in the right places, usually on the sides of the body, sides of the abdomen, we could see spiracles
- Bugscope Team maybe if we look at the wasp we will be able to find spiracles
- Bugscope Team spiders have these beautiful setae that have projections on all sides, like a pine tree
- Bugscope Team some spiders also have hairs that they let loose if a dog, for example, comes too close and sniffs them
- Bugscope Team the hairs that spiders let loose are irritating and serve to keep the dog from getting too close
- Teacher What is the spiney thing on the left?
Bugscope Team that is one of the plumose setae that spiders have many of; they help the spider sense vibration
- Bugscope Team if you take the mag down a little bit you should see more of them
- Bugscope Team the other kinds of hairs -- the ones that you want to avoid -- are called 'urticating hairs'
- Bugscope Team 'urticating' means that they make you itch
- Bugscope Team almost all ants you see are females. male ants have wings, and there are not many of them
- Bugscope Team the one female ant that may have wings is the queen, but she will lose those wings when she starts to lay eggs
- Teacher Does the ant have a nose?
Bugscope Team no it does not; it uses its antennae to pick up scents, and it is very good at that
- Bugscope Team ants communicate with each other using smells, and they sense those smells with the antennae
- Teacher Is the jagged line part of the mandible?
Bugscope Team the mandibles are obscured by the leg, in the middle there; they have hinges and open like a gate
- Teacher Is the antennae like a ball and socket?
Bugscope Team yes it is!
- Bugscope Team the base of the antenna is a ball and socket joint like where your femur joins to your pelvis
- Teacher What is the band on the right side?
Bugscope Team there was a portion of the thorax showing. otherwise I am not sure
- Bugscope Team a bee's tongue often looks much like this as well
- Bugscope Team that is a good shape that allows the wasp to collect nectar -- sugary fluid from flowers
- Teacher What is the use of the tongue? Does it shed?
Bugscope Team it works like a mop to help collect fluids; I don't believe it is ever shed
- Bugscope Team look how big the eye is! and that is just on one side
- Bugscope Team you can see the mandibles, above where we saw the glossa, or tongue
- Bugscope Team the long setae (hairs) see likely have multiple purposes; one is to help maintain a stable body temperature
- Teacher What are the segmented sections on the right side?
Bugscope Team those are two sets of palps, like extra limbs, that help the wasp taste its food
- Bugscope Team above them is the sheath that holds the glossa (the tongue), and above that are the jaws, or mandibles
- Bugscope Team I am sorry this tiny moth is kind of beat up
- Bugscope Team you can see its compound eyes and lots of scales
- Bugscope Team to the far right, top, you can see one of the antennae, which is broken
- Bugscope Team this is a salt crystal from a Wendy's restaurant
- Bugscope Team we don't know why they have that cool incised pattern; we think maybe it is because they have an anticaking agent added to the sodium chloride
- Teacher can this be broken down even smaller?
Bugscope Team salt always forms cubic crystals, so yes if it was broken down smaller we would still see cubes
- Bugscope Team but this is the size of a normal salt crystal
- Teacher How does it stay together instead of breaking apart?
Bugscope Team maybe it has just enough moisture to make it stick together
- Bugscope Team actually what makes it form the large crystal is what makes it form the smaller crystals we also see -- the bonds between the sodium and the chloride
- Teacher SJ. Thanks for your time and great answers. We learned something new from you today!!! Have a great day!
Bugscope Team Thank You!
- Bugscope Team See you next year!