POD 1 included gardening work as well as insect entomology. Last week on Wednesday, September 7, I looked at insects under the microscope. The proper settings for the microscope were finally figured out and I was able to see the bugs well then before.
I looked at multiple insects. I will start out with talking about the beetle. The mouth I observed has claws. Around the mouth, the colors is dark yellow. As well as there are hairs or “whiskers” by the mouth sort of like a mustache. The antenna is rope like in texture and separates very “ropey”. The back has lines that look similar to black style duck tape. The back also appears to have either very fine hairs or dust– perhaps dust mites. I think we humans have almost invisible dust mites that live on us daily, which can only be see under the microscope.
The type of beetle I looked at is called a ground beetle. I did some research on ground beetles and found that there are 495 different species in Vermont and New Hampshire. The exact name of the beetle I saw under the microscope is called a Common Black Ground Beetle (latin name: Pterostichus melanarius). This species of beetles was introduced from Europe. They do not fly. There habitat is primarily in moist woods and wetlands. They like to hide in the dirt, under rocks, under leaves, and under logs. Beetles eat other bugs such as grubs, caterpillars, maggots, earth worms and even different beetle species!
After observing the beetle, I briefly observed two other insects. One was a fly. It was very hairy and its skin was white and black in color. I did not know flies to be hairy until I saw it under the microscope! Finally, I observed a wasp. In my opinion, the skin texture looks like paint, and like a highway road’s yellow lines. I also saw many bumps on the wasp.
This POD was very enjoyable and very laid back. I’ve never had a school program with PODs before but it looks like that this will be a good thing and there will be a variety of things I’ll learn due to the PODs and that I will learn much more than in pervious years. I enjoyed spending time in the garden just picking cherry tomatoes, which there were a lot of and observing insects up close. I learned that when people call bugs “bugs”, that they are actually probably an insect. This has been a good start to my last year!