Monday, September 26, 2011

science fun

Can you guess what kind of insect this guy is? He isn't a bee.

But I did have fun photographing this sleepy bee on my cosmos.

He isn't a grasshopper. We found this lady on our walk last week. We were trying to collect an insect for our 'Lazarus' insect experiment. She was our first catch. Further on, we tried to pick up a grasshopper who was sitting in the grass that was growing up in a crack in the asphalt.

She was very hard to pry up. Oops!! She was laying her eggs. I showed the girls her ovipositor and how she was laying the eggs. Then we let her go. I thought about this lady and decided she was probably ready to lay eggs to and so I suggested to the girls that we catch a male. We used him for our experiment and kept her in a pb jar with an inch or so of dirt in the bottom.

She didn't do anything for two days so I decided I better build her a better habitat. So I took one of the large jars I use for raising monarchs and filled the bottom up with several inches of dirt. Tim and I both wondered at the fact that the other female had been laying  the egg in such a difficult spot and Tim suggested that perhaps she need/wanted some rocks or something hard to lay her eggs under or against. It worked!!

Of course, she did this in the middle of the night so the girls didn't get to see it first hand. It is a good thing I am handy with a camera.

Our mystery insect is a rove beetle that the girls found at our home school group/poetry class last Friday. Rove beetles are carnivorous insects and are sometimes called 'devil's coach horse.'

Our specimen is a gold and brown rove beetle. He rushed around angrily with his abdomen lifted like a scorpion. Which led all the kids at our group to think he might be a scorpion. The adults tended towards wasp or hornet because his body is a bit stripey looking on the underside.

He was quite clumsy and tended to fall over and flail a lot. I put him in the refrigerator to chill hims so he would slow down so I could photograph him.

I noticed that one of his mandibles was broken when I looked at the photos I took.

We put him in a jar with rock and dirt. We added some worms, which he attacked immediately but never ate. By the end of the weekend, he seemed to be languishing so we set him free.

1 comment:

no spring chicken said...

I enjoyed getting caught up on your blog posts. We started school yesterday and I look forward to another year of discovery. I had never heard of the principal behind the Lazarus experiment. Very interesting indeed... we're never too old to learn something new!

Blessings, Debbie