Connected on 2015-04-28 12:15:00 from Contra Costa County, California, United States
- Bugscope Team sample chamber just reached vacuum
- Bugscope Team starting setup for today's session
- Bugscope Team hi mrs. o'shea
- Bugscope Team welcome to bugscope
- Teacher Hi Scot!
- Bugscope Team we are going to finish up presets, then we can hand you the controls
- Teacher The class says hello!
- Bugscope Team hi class!
- Bugscope Team you can see the bee's pollen basket now
- Bugscope Team so cool and actually rare for us
- Teacher what is a pollen basket
Bugscope Team when bees go from flower to flower they have these kind of sidesaddles with pollen in them...
- Teacher Amazing!
- Teacher so we are looking at the basket the bee holds the pollen in to take to another flower?
Bugscope Team we were -- sorry we are still setting up
- Teacher take your time!
- Bugscope Team that was a mite but it was covered with wax
- Teacher on purpose?
Bugscope Team we think it is a protective measure they take, but it makes them quite difficult to see
- Teacher claws?
Bugscope Team many insects, maybe most of them, have claws, like we have hands
- Teacher the kids ask if bugs really look like monsters close up like they do now?
Bugscope Team I think we can say yes. If we had a ladybug larva, they are super creepy...
- Teacher also why is the mosquito so sad?
Bugscope Team its eyes are shrunken down to where we can hardly see them
- Bugscope Team this is a male mosquito, still kind of sad
- Bugscope Team we are ready to roll!
- Bugscope Team and you now have control of the microscope
- Teacher any suggestions to start?
Bugscope Team anywhere that looks interesting to you
- Bugscope Team this is the underside of a plant leaf; we found some mite or aphid eggs here among the trichomes
- Teacher you are quick!
- Bugscope Team what looks kind of like Easter grass is fungus
- Teacher what kind of insect eggs are these?
Bugscope Team I am sorry we do not know exactically what kind of eggs those are
Bugscope Team they could be mite or aphid eggs
- Bugscope Team i think that webbing helps to keep the eggs on the leaf
- Teacher what does the fungus do or where does it come from?
Bugscope Team fungus or mold: it can be found in the air and lands on things that are moist, often. it begins the decay process
- Bugscope Team Cate thinks that is web, from the insect that laid the eggs, to help stick the eggs to the leaf surface.
- Bugscope Team this is the head of a trapjaw ant
- Bugscope Team they walk around with their jaws open, sometimes so wide that they resemble oxen, with widely spaced horns
- Bugscope Team Sorry -- you can see where Cate took the ant's head off so she could give us a head-on, head-off look at it.
- Teacher where do trapjaw ants live?
Bugscope Team they live all over, but it always seems like the more exotic and larger ones live in the Tropics, or somewhere far from us.
- Bugscope Team they 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
- Bugscope Team their exoskeleton is made of chitin, which is similar to our nails- keratin
- Teacher what makes these ants so fragile?
Bugscope Team they are very small and hard to pick up. I smashed them a bit.
- Teacher how is an ant's skeleton different than a human's?
Bugscope Team their skeleton is on the outside, like a suit of armor, or like a shell
Bugscope Team our skeleton is on the inside
Bugscope Team it makes a difference in part because insects do not have skin, with nerve endings in it; instead they have a shell, or exoskeleton
Bugscope Team insects, in order to help sense their surroundings, have many tiny setae, or hairs, that help them feel, smell, sense hot/cold...
- Teacher how big are the fagile ants compared to the trapjaw ant?
Bugscope Team they are only about 2 mm long, whereas in comparison the trapjaw ants can be 2 cm long -- 10 times larger
- Teacher Are these adult ants?
Bugscope Team yes they are!
- Teacher hahahaha
- Teacher where do you get your samples?
Bugscope Team we 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 Team if insects get into the house they are fair game; we catch them and freeze them so we can look at them this way.
- Teacher is the beetle inside the mciroscope?
Bugscope Team they are all dead and inside the chamber of the microscope right now
- Teacher the class is wondering how you prepare the samples for the microscope?
Bugscope Team Cate 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 Team oops "electrons"
Bugscope Team Cate then coats the insects and similar arthropods with gold-palladium -- a very thin coat
Bugscope Team the gold-palldium is only a few nanometers thick, but it makes the surfaces of the insects conductive.
Bugscope Team "gold-palladium" alloy
- Bugscope Team these are the mandibles and also palps of a beetle
- Teacher what are the hairs we see here?
Bugscope Team most are mechanosensory- for the sense of touch. but there are some around the mouth that might help with tasting and smelling
Bugscope Team those help filter food and may also be sensory
- Bugscope Team this is the tip of one of the beetle's palps, with little tastebuds on it
- Bugscope Team Sorry I'm late guys! Did the kids already ask about trap-jaw ants?!!
Bugscope Team I... I think they did. Frowny face :(
Bugscope Team they asked where they come from, and we did not give a myrmecologically perfect answer
Bugscope Team The 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.
- Teacher are the dots pores like people have?
Bugscope Team some of them are perhaps comparable
Bugscope Team if you go to the spiracle image you will see a pore that helps bring oxygen to the inner organs of the insect
- Bugscope Team see the beetle's compound eyes, on either side of its head?
- Teacher IS the palp located on the mandible?
Bugscope Team No, palps are separate structures that are usually right below the mandible
Bugscope Team Additionally, there are two sets of palps, maxillary and labial
- Teacher Is the bulbous, hairy looking thing a pollen collector too?
Bugscope Team not on purpose
Bugscope Team it can swell with hemolymph and fill a tiny crevice, helping the bee hold onto a surface
- Teacher lets go back to the ant head for a moment
- Teacher how does the trap jaw mechanism work?
Bugscope Team we need to save the answer for Josh, but they have trigger hairs that set them off
Bugscope Team Odonto- means 'tooth,' and -machus means 'thrower'
Bugscope Team Because they can throw their whole bodies by snapping their mandibles together.
- Bugscope Team Josh is pretty much stoked about this kind of stuff.
- Teacher Does Josh have some cool facts about the ant head?
Bugscope Team ant head facts are a significant percentage of his existence right now
Bugscope Team Did Scott tell you about how the trap-jaw mechanism works?!!! I COULD TOTALLY DO THAT!!!! :D
Bugscope Team Trap-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 Team Some 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 Team In 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 Team And 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!!!! :)
- Teacher wow cool!
- Bugscope Team kind of like a trophy in someone's den, above the fireplace
- Bugscope Team Cate made this for Josh.
- Bugscope Team We 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.
- Bugscope Team Alright guys, I have to get to class. Thanks for tolerating my trap-jaw rant :) enjoy the rest of your bugscope session!
- Bugscope Team the pollen basket is located on the 'bee's knees', so to speak
- Bugscope Team interesting that we see what appear to be different types of pollen
- Teacher is the pollen basket on the leg of the bee?
Bugscope Team yes it is!
Bugscope Team one of the hind legs, on the outside
Bugscope Team there are setae around a concave portion of the leg, kind of like a thigh, and there are fewer setae where the pollen stick
- Teacher are these pollen grains from different flowers? They look different
Bugscope Team I think this was a very busy bee.
Bugscope Team Took its job as a pollinator quite seriously.
- Teacher hahahaha
- Teacher some are spiky and some have craters like the moon!
Bugscope Team yes! so cool!
- Bugscope Team this is special salt we are not sure of being able to get any more
- Teacher and that is pollen inside? How much and how long does the bee collect the pollen?
Bugscope Team Worker 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
- Teacher what is this?
Bugscope Team salt from wendy's restaurants
- Bugscope Team the 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
- Teacher can you tell us about the bead like structures here?
- Bugscope Team the donut-like things we see here are called pedicels, and they are the bases of the antennae
- Bugscope Team the things that look like long Ruffles potato chips are scales, which the mosquito is covered with
- Teacher I guess those aren't eyes....
- Teacher Also, what is coming out of the mosquitos eyes?
Bugscope Team those are antennae, and the things that seem to be eyes are the pedicels
Bugscope Team the compound eyes are almost completely deflated
- Teacher what do the scales do?
Bugscope Team they provide some color, and they can also be shed, sometimes, if the insect gets stuck in a web
- Bugscope Team these are ommatidia, the individual eye facets. there are hundreds of these in each compound eye
- Teacher so their eyes can see from many points?
Bugscope Team their eyes are normally swollen into domes or even near-spheres, and they can indeed see around them very well
- Bugscope Team the individual features we see now on this one ommatidium are so small they are on the nano scale, about 100 nm each
- Teacher so they let the scales go to get free?
Bugscope Team haha Quite the opposite if the trick really works
Bugscope Team the scales stick to the spider's web, and the moth or mosquito or butterfly or silverfish goes free
- Bugscope Team Mrs O'Shea I did not read your message correctly about the scales. You were exactly right.
- Teacher why is there bacteria here?
Bugscope Team bacteria will eventually land on something, especially after it dies
- Teacher so it just fell here?
- Bugscope Team there are bacteria all over this insect
- Bugscope Team this just happened to be one of the better areas to image it
- Bugscope Team or something with bacteria on it rubbed on that place
- Bugscope Team with ticks we often see bacteria; with fresh insects we do not, so often
- Teacher why are the bees eyes so big?
Bugscope Team a lot of flying insects will have big eyes that cover almost the entire head, so it can see all around it
- Teacher what does the hair do?
Bugscope Team It probably helps the bee sense wind, and gauge wind speed, and I believe it also helps bees thermoregulate, or keep their temperature stable.
- Teacher what is this bump on his eye?
Bugscope Team some kind of juju that got stuck there, likely after the bee died.
Bugscope Team like dried fluid of some sort
- Bugscope Team please let us know if you were trying to drive to a different place. the microscope stage just bound up, a bit
- Bugscope Team there it is
- Teacher what is a true bug?
Bugscope Team no this is a a beetle - true bugs have piercing sucking mouthparts
Bugscope Team Cicadas are true bugs :)
- Teacher this is it!!
- Bugscope Team You can really see this guys mouthparts well!
- Bugscope Team You can also see a hole in its body - it's likely that this insect was pinned at some point
- Teacher are tjhose mouthparts that look like antennae?
Bugscope Team the mouthparts are folded in toward the body and go straight down the front of the body
- Teacher what do the sucking mouthparts do?
Bugscope Team they 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 Team these 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
- Teacher Cool! My class is BUGGING out they had so much fun!!!!
- Bugscope Team awesome!
- Bugscope Team woo!
- Bugscope Team Sweet!
- Bugscope Team Josh must be off doing some ant-related thing but we will tell him you all had fun.
- Teacher HUGE Thanks we are so limited with science and field trips here
Bugscope Team I'm really glad you guys enjoyed this! We all had fun as well :)
- Teacher We are going to review the archives and research that ant head!!!
- Teacher HAve a great day off to lunch!!!!
- Bugscope Team Thank you, Everyone! We had a good time!
- Bugscope Team Bye!
- Bugscope Team Have a great day! Bye!!