Blog

Our Microsoft Commercial!

Wow! It has been a whirlwind since February. We were offered an incredible opportunity to represent Microsoft and Windows 10 in their new campaign. While we are a “dual platform” business, we use a lot of Microsoft products even on my Mac. (I mean, who doesn’t use Word,...

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Sexual Dimorphism: how males and females look different

I promised you dobsonflies! I think these megalopterans are one of the best examples of sexual dimorphism, where males and females have different body forms. These large insects start their lives as larvae in streams. Back east we call them hellgrammites or ‘toe-biters’ (though some...

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Insect Mouthparts: Part Two

Last week we talked about some basic mouthparts found on insects. But this week we are going to explore some funkier specimens. Chewing mouthparts are not boring. Let’s take this male lucanid stag beetle. The mandibles extend forward and are functionally useless for feeding. Male stag...

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Insect Mouthparts: Part One

When starting in entomology, mouthparts are some of the first things you learn about. Usually people start with typical chewing mouthparts, like that of a grasshopper. You have the basic parts: labrum (the upper lip, or as I like to call it, the Mr. Ed lip), two mandibles (the chewing jaws),  two...

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The Color of Love

We got a new box of insect specimens. It counts as a Valentine’s week gift to ourselves and the business. We needed some to fly to LA this past weekend for a bit of filming and  I need them to teach at NSTA at the end of March so it was  a perfect excuse to treat ourselves. We were in a...

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Wings: Part Two

In last week’s post, Wings: Part One, I showed the wings of a wasp and a treehopper. This week I’m going to juxtapose two of the most well known insects in the world- a cockroach and a butterfly. Below is an American cockroach. This is one of the most widespread and reviled pests in...

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Wings: Part 1

I was looking over my favorite Infiniview microscope shots and I found this scarab beetle elytra picture from my first time playing with it. It got me thinking about wings in all their different forms. I popped open a teaching collection of ours that needed to be cleaned up a bit and started...

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Best Microscope Shots

I’m spending this week focusing on creating curricula for the big NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) conference in March. I’m going to be representing The Bug Chicks at the Celestron booth and leading two professional development workshops for teachers.  I’m so excited!...

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Spider Molting: A New Start

It’s 2016! Time to shed our old skin and start something new. As luck would have it our Brazilian black and white tarantula, Samba, molted over the holidays. Molting is the process by which an arthropod with an exoskeleton sheds its outer layer to reveal new cuticle. The new exoskeleton is...

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New Site Update

I wanted to let everyone know that over the next week or so, the site will be going through some changes. I do this almost every Christmas- change things up for the new year! Please be patient with us during this transition. I’m streamlining and simplifying things in order to make room for...

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Gross Anatomy

When you give someone a handheld digital microscope, one of the first things they do is look at the back of their hand. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times. So for this post, I thought it was about time to get up-close and personal with one the of the Celestron Microscopes I have been...

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A House Guest

Very often here in Portland, I will have a person animatedly try to explain a kind of ‘bug’ they’ve seen in their house. There are key phrases I listen for: “It was really big.” (giant house spider) “It was black and kinda nasty” (european rove beetle...

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