gummy/fancylogo.jpg

Science Talk
About Joanne and This Site
Science Books are a Girl's Best Friend!
The Science of Beauty
Gummi Bear Science
Fun Science Videos
Odd and Ends
Whimsical Science
Favorite Make-up Videos
Outreach
Favorite Book Reviews
Kindnesses
Contact/Book
Joanne's Educational Garage Sale

This site  The Web 

Be sure to subscribe to my blog to stay updated!

 

Featured Sci/Tech Author Profile


Quirky Science

 

 

Latest Book Review 

 

Featured Makeup Video

Archive Newer | Older

Monday, September 13, 2010

Insects!

I am not an entomologist. Far from it. However, observing, capturing and playing with (and possibly dismembering) a few insects as a young girl are some of my early memories of being a child "scientist".

For my Masters degree, I decided to study cell biology, and specifically the ultrastructure of muscle development. The model I chose to work with was Manduca Sexta or the tobacco hornworm. I studied the larva, not the adult. In the image below, which is the larva? Where is the pupa?

gummy/manducasexta.jpg

The larva is the seafoam green "caterpillar" and the pupa is the cocoon. As you can see in the image, there are three stages of this insect's life cycle shown, one is missing. Do you know what it is?

(It's the egg!) Although we could argue that there are a few "instar" stages of the larvae not shown--Recall that instars are stages of gradually increasing sizes of the larva after moltings.

Another question. Does this insect display complete or incomplete metamorphosis?

By the presence of the cocoon, I hope you guessed complete metamorphosis! In the cocoon (the pupa), the insect will excrete digestive juices to destroy much of the larva's body, leaving a few cells intact. Some of the remaining cells will begin the growth of the adult, using the nutrients from the broken down larva. 

All of that is just a little reminder of some basics. What I want to do today is to recommend three books about insects, all of them taking slightly different looks at the world of insects from the technical/beautiful to the fascinating/intriguing to the bizarre/humorous, and they are all arranged in alphabetical order.  I have recommended three books for you, (however, I did NOT review them in alphabetical order by their titles OR authors):

For your convenience, here are a few of the links featured in the video:

Bugscope at Beckman Institute (University of Illinois)

Insect Fear Film Festival

Below is the video called The Billion Bug Highway You Can't See, produced by NPR, a well done animation which features some commentary by May Berenbaum, whose book, The Earwig's Tale, was featured in my recommendation. Oddly enough, this is also the topic of the chapter on "Air" in Insectopedia

Links to the books

Insect Museum by Sonia Dourlot

Insectopedia by Hugh Raffles

The Earwig's Tale by May Berenbaum

I want to share some amazing photos which come from this original article. The very patient and talented photographer was able to capture dew on sleeping insects just before dawn! Amazing! My favorite is the grasshopper (middle of top row) that looks like it is encrusted with jewels. And, by the way, grasshoppers undergo incomplete metamorphosis, meaning there is no pupal stage, just series of moltings of nymphs. 

dew2.jpg gummy/dew1.jpg dew3.jpg 
dew6.jpg dew4.jpg 

dew5.jpg 


While I'm certain there are probably many, many insect websites with great photographs, I'd like to share one called Insect Paparazzi by the earth's premier Science Comedian.(I have his "A virus walks into a bar" gig on the Fun Science Videos page) And for some fact-filled insect tweets, follow @insectpaparazzi on twitter!
 
I was in the UK last week, where they take their science seriously. I will tweet about my (nerdy) time there fairly soon. In the meantime, I need to delve into bioinformatics and genomics for a new online course I am developing. When I know a lot more about those topics, I will figure out how to present those to you in a fun way, too!. 
 
Until next time,
 
Kindly, Joanne 
Mon, September 13, 2010 | link 


Archive Newer | Older

 

I'd LOVE to hear about YOUR

favorite science teacher

or a favorite science moment! 

           
 

expert science video host, science writer, speaker, and public outreach enthusiast

Be sure to check me out at these social networking sites!

gummy/twitter-bird2.gifgummy/facebook-logo.gifgummy/linkedin-logo.gifgummy/youtube.gif
Stay in touch with me through google +


Science Talk About Joanne and This Site Science Books are a Girl's Best Friend! The Science of Beauty Gummi Bear Science Fun Science Videos Odd and Ends Whimsical Science Favorite Make-up Videos Outreach Favorite Book Reviews Kindnesses Contact/Book

 

Copyright 2011. joannelovesscience. All rights reserved.

Site redesigned by Jaime Carpenter