Connected on 2011-05-16 09:00:00 from Grand Turk, Turks Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands
- Bugscope Team hello fran. welcome to bugscope!
- Teacher hi CATE thankyou
- Teacher I logged in early, the students will soon be here
- Bugscope Team let me know if you have any questions. You should have control of the microscope if you want to drive around
- Teacher ok, I would love if you assist with the driving and the descriptions
- Teacher would really appreciate it
- Bugscope Team yes I will do my best for you
- Bugscope Team just me today. Scott is away in Italy on vacation
- Teacher ok thanks
- Teacher hi goodmorning again...we are all here
- Bugscope Team hi everyone!
- Teacher they said hi back
- Bugscope Team so right now this is a big wasp we found in the building stairwell. It is not the cleanest, but it's still fun to look at
- Bugscope Team unfortunately its stinger is not showing
- Bugscope Team most of the wasps, bees, and ants you see are females. They do the work inside and outside the hive. The males, or drones, tend to just be used for mating only
- Bugscope Team you can see this wasp has 2 very big compound eyes, allowing her to see almost all around her at once.
- Bugscope Team and there's a claw near the bottom of the image
- Bugscope Team the background the wasp is sitting on is double stick carbon tape (it often looks like it has little bubbles in it) and the smoother background part is silver paint we use to help hold down the insects and make them more grounded for the electrons that are hitting it
- Teacher are wasps similiar to bees, if they use their stinger...if they would die?
Bugscope Team no, wasps can sting multiple times, but the venom they inject each time is a smaller amount then a bee's venom when they sting
Bugscope Team and only the honeybee can only sting once. Bumblebees are free to sting multiple times, but they tend to leave you alone
- Bugscope Team the part of their venom that is deadly is a histamine component. Some people are highly allergic to it. Kind of like how benadryl is an antihistamine
- Teacher how many babies can wasps have?
Bugscope Team that depends on the type of wasp. A parasitic wasp lays their eggs in other insects, so they lay only a few in a host as a time, otherwise the larvae tend to eat eachother. The common wasp, like a yellowjacket, will lay around 1500 eggs
Bugscope Team and paper wasps lay around several hundred in their lifetime
- Bugscope Team in the microscope we also have a small moth, a caterpillar, salt and sugar crystals, an ambush bug, a spider, a ladybug, a backswimmer, a fruit fly, and a caddisfly larvae. oh and a mosquito
- Bugscope Team all the images you see are coming live from the microscope, and all the insects are dead.
- Bugscope Team I'm just zooming in on the antenna right now.
- Bugscope Team it's a little dirty, probably from the stairwell
- Bugscope Team but you can see the antenna is very hairy and has those long wormy parts on it
- Bugscope Team the hairs help the wasp feel when the antenna touches or bumps into something. They don't have sensitive skin like we do, so the hairs help them feel
- Bugscope Team the long parts are called placoid sensilla, and they are responsible for reading the signals coming from other wasps or insects. Like how wasps can tell other wasps in the hive that there's a predator, maybe you, and to come out and help her sting
- Bugscope Team The moth eye is next.
- Bugscope Team So here you can see the individual components of the moth compound eye
- Bugscope Team and there are even some hairs sticking out between some of the facets
- Teacher What makes the wasp a social insect?
Bugscope Team wasps, bees, and ants are social. They live in communities often. Though there are a few exceptions like with solitary bees and wasps. But they have a very good working community where everyone has a job and they work well together. Most other insects don't often live in communities like hives or nests.
Bugscope Team most insects also don't take care of their young like the wasps, bees, and ants- which are all part of the order hymenoptera
- Bugscope Team they work as a family under the queen, but if the queen dies and there is no other queen ready, then they tend to fall apart and die
- Bugscope Team very good question. they are fun to study and learn about in my opinion
- Teacher how often do they produce queens?
Bugscope Team I'm not sure how it works for wasps and ants, but the queen bee larva is fed special royal jelly. They only seem to lay the special queen eggs when it seems favorable. I'm not sure how often. I will keep looking
Bugscope Team any egg can become the queen in case of emergency like if a queen suddenly dies the workers will flood several cells, where a larva has just emerged, with royal jelly in hopes that a new queen will come out quickly enough
- Bugscope Team In the case of wasps, any female can become a queen. They just have to mate with a drone. So it is slightly different. If it chooses to become a queen it usually flies off and makes her own colony
- Teacher what is the hair on the moth eye used for ?
Bugscope Team they are used for helping the moth feel when things get too close to it's eye, similar to our eyelashes, and also they may help in feeling the air currents shift so it can fly optimally
- Bugscope Team you will also see there are scratches in the eye, which could happen before or after death, and they don't really effect the moth too much because it has so many facets to the compound eye
- Bugscope Team hmm i dont know why it's getting white, let me move
- Bugscope Team well here you can see me zooming out to the head
- Bugscope Team the eyes curve around the entire head, giving the moth an almost 360 degree view
- Bugscope Team sorry about the image
- Bugscope Team let's see if this area will be ok
- Bugscope Team ok I will be right back. I'm going to look at the scope. give me a minute
- Bugscope Team ok this is cate at the microscope
- Bugscope Team it's a little dark, but this is inside the chamber where the insects are
- Bugscope Team you can see some of the insects. the big one is the wasp
- Bugscope Team we are using electrons to image so the image is in black and white because we are gathering the signal from them and not lightwaves
- Bugscope Team right now we are on a caterpillar head
- Bugscope Team it has bumps on the sides of the head-- those are the simple eyes. Larva of insects tend to have simple eyes and not compound eyes. In the case of the caterpillar it has 5 on each side
- Bugscope Team They don't see very well out of simple eyes.
- Bugscope Team parasitic wasps tend to use caterpillars as hosts for their eggs. People that grow things are happy for this because it helps keep the caterpillar population down
- Teacher Why do moth go around light?
Bugscope Team they use the light to help them navigate usually. When there is a light that is not the moon (since they are usually nocturnal) it throws them off
Bugscope Team also artificial lights seem brighter than the moon
- Teacher what is their life span?
Bugscope Team they live for around a year usually, but the adults don't tend to live very long themselves.
Bugscope Team monarch butterflies can migrate so they live around a year as adults
Bugscope Team adult moths tend to live for only up to a few weeks sadly
Bugscope Team there are some moths that can overwinter somewhere as adults, so they can live several months
- Bugscope Team here are some monarch butterfly scales from a section of wing I put on
- Bugscope Team the scales are the same as the powder that may come off on your fingers when handling them
- Bugscope Team the scales can be used as a defense mechanism to help them get out of spider webs if they are lucky. They can try to shake a few loose and fly away
- Bugscope Team we dont have an ant. The wasp is as close as we get. I'm sorry. If you want to go back to the wasp I'd be happy to drive back there
- Teacher do you have cnetipede or a spider?
Bugscope Team yes we do. we have a spider
- Bugscope Team here are the fangs
- Teacher can we see the spider please
- Bugscope Team now sometimes when an insect or spider dies, they can throw up. That is a little of what we are seeing here. There is some goopy stuff around the fangs hiding one of the fangs entirely
- Bugscope Team spiders are very hairy. They dont have good eyesight but the hairs help make up for that. They help them feel sensations like touch and also the vibrations, like from a web
- Bugscope Team I believe this spider is a wolf spider
- Bugscope Team oh and we are seeing the spider's ventral side (the underside)
- Teacher are all spiders usually poisonous?/
Bugscope Team yes most are venomous. There are only a couple in the US you have to watch out for like the brown recluse and the black widow
Bugscope Team young children are mroe susceptible to them. The venom is used to liquify their prey when the prey are insects so that the spider can drink it.
- Teacher Thnakyou and it was great, we enjoyed today's session
Bugscope Team thank you all for joining today to use bugscope
- Bugscope Team it is always a pleasure to have you guys
- Teacher Thanks for having us again and we look forward to work with you
- Bugscope Team as usual you can go to your member page to see chat and images from today https://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2011-025