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Purpose Students observe heredity by observing metamorphosis and traits in insects. Time: Two 60-minute sessions

Purpose Students observe heredity by observing metamorphosis and traits in insects.

Time: Two 60-minute sessions

Level: Elementary

Materials

‰ “Parts of an Insect” (make a transparency)

‰ “Insect Fact Cards” (one set for each team, laminated and cut apart)

‰ Insect game pieces (one set for each team, laminated and cut apart)

‰ “Insect Clue” Game Board (one for each team, laminated)

‰ “Honey Bee Life Stages” worksheet (one for each student)

‰ Optional: “Honey Files,” video (available from Utah AITC)

“Honey Files,” video (available from Utah AITC) A Bug’s Life: Diary of an Insect’s Metamorphosis

A Bug’s Life: Diary of an Insect’s Metamorphosis

Science/Heredity

Background It is very easy to see that a kitten or cub will grow up to look very similar to a cat or bear, but what about organisms that don’t look anything like their parents until they reach full maturity? One of the easiest ways to investigate this interesting process is to watch the metamorphosis of insects. Metamorphosis is the process of marked physical and structural change, or in other words, the growth and developmental phases that insects go through during their life cycle. Insects lay eggs that contain inherited traits, just like a kitten contains some of the traits of its parents. It might be difficult to recognize that this insect egg will someday look just like its beetle or roach parent—but it will—thanks to metamorphosis! Insects belong to the class Insecta. Their distinguishing characteristics include a segmented body that is more or less elongated, one pair of antennae (singular, antenna), three pairs of legs, one or two pairs of wings, and a hardened body wall. The body wall serves as a shell to protect the insect’s internal organs and acts as an external skeleton, called an exoskeleton. The segmented body has three distinct body regions: head, thorax, and abdomen (see the “Parts of an Insect” sheet). The head includes the eyes, antennae, and mouth parts. Insects generally have three simple eyes located on the upper front part of the head. The antennae are located on the front of the head below the simple eyes. Antennae function as sensors for feeling, smelling, and in some cases, hearing or tasting. There are different kinds of mouth parts. The kind of mouth parts an insect has determines how it feeds (sucking or chewing). The middle section of the insect is called the thorax. It contains the six legs. Legs are often used in identification because they vary considerably in size and shape in different insects. Wings are also located on the thorax. Some insects have only one pair of wings and some are wingless. The abdomen is the last segment of the insect body. Many insects have a pair of feelers, called cerci, on the last part of the abdomen. Honey bees are an important insect that pilgrims brought to North America in the 1600s. By the 1850s, honey bees were found all the way across the continent in California. Pioneers used boxes to trap honey bees and then released them so that the bees could be followed back to the hive. In 1852, a teacher and part-time beekeeper invented the movable-frame beehive and the honey business boomed. Like many insects, honey bees go through four stages of metamorphosis:

egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The bee changes dramatically in each stage. With the progression of metamorphosis, it becomes easier to identify the inherited traits of the queen bee. This is common in nearly all insects, although there are

a few which will keep you guessing right to the last stage! Honey bees select which larvae will perform special jobs as adult insects.

A bee’s adult job can be determined by how it is fed and housed during

metamorphosis. Queen bees develop from fertilized eggs in the largest cells in the hive. Larva destined to become a queen bee is fed royal jelly for the entire

larval stage. Royal jelly is a milky, yellow syrup that is very high in protein, that young worker bees secrete from glands inside their heads and feed to larvae. Worker bees develop from fertilized eggs. Worker bee larvae are fed royal jelly

for only three days. Then they are fed beebread (mixture of nectar and pollen) for the remaining larval stage. Drones (male bees) develop from unfertilized eggs that are laid in larger cells. Drones are also fed royal jelly for three days and are then fed beebread. Like people and plants, insects come in a variety of shapes and sizes. By looking beyond the fear or dislike of insects, students will be able to see the similarities, differences, uniqueness and importance of insects.

Activity Procedures Activity 1

1. Using the “Honey Bee Life Stages” worksheet review the complete metamorphosis of honey bees from the background information. Remind the students of the developmental differences of queens, drones and workers. Discuss why the different members of the colony take longer to develop or require different foods. Also discuss the specific roles of the different members of the colony.

2. Have the students develop a chart that shows the day-to-day progression from egg to adult for workers, drones and queens.

3. Ask the students to state their theory of why metamorphosis may be necessary for honey bees or other insects.

4. Have the students complete the questions on the worksheet.

Activity 2

1. Explain to the students that honey bees are not the only insects. About one million insects have been classified by entomologists (people who study insects). Every year 7,000 to 10,000 new species of insects are discovered.

2. Show the transparency “Parts of an Insect.” Point out the various body parts. Explain that these body parts are common in all insects along with the process of metamorphosis, although each insect may have different kinds of phases and different lengths of time for development.

3. Explain to the students that many people use the terms insect and bug interchangeably as though they are one in the same. Many people believe that if it creeps, crawls, or flies it must be an insect/bug. Read the following to your students and ask them if it is true or false: “All bugs are insects but all insects are not bugs.” (true) You may need to help some students understand why a spider (an 8-legged arachnid) or similar “bug” may not be an insect because of scientific classification.

4. Arrange students in groups of four or five to play a game about insects. Give each group one set of the “Insect Fact Cards.” Explain that each student will become an expert on one insect. After students have selected their insect, they should read to their group the information about the insect.

5. Distribute to each group an envelope with the cut-apart “Insect Game Pieces” and an “Insect Clue Game Board.”

6. Ask students to mix up or shuffle the “Insect Game Pieces,” dealing them out equally to each of the team members. Taking turns, students try to place their insect game pieces over the correct clue on the “Insect Clue Game Board.” Students may place only one game piece in any given turn. Students pass if they are unable to match any clues with the “Insect Game Piece” in their hands. Students may refer back to their “Insect Fact Card” or ask the student who is the expert about a particular insect for information if necessary.

7. When the students have finished the game, ask

Resources/Links

The Honey Files, A Bee’s Life,

A Teaching Guide and video.

Available from the National Honey Board, www.honey.com

Honey Bee Study Prints,

twelve over-sized pictures of the life cycle of honeybees. Borrow from Utah Agriculture

in the Classroom (www.

agclassroom.org/ut) or purchase from Dadant & Sons, Honey Bee Study Prints, twelve oversized (13” x 18”) pictures

of the lifecycle of honey bees.

Available from Dadant & Sons, click on online catalog and the search “study prints.” www.

dadant.com.

The Life and Times of the Honeybee, by Charles Micucci.

This book presents a wide range of interesting (and sometimes amusing) facts about the life cycle, work, and history

of one of the world’s most

useful insects. ISBN-13: 978-

0395861394.

This lesson was created by Agricul- ture in the Classroom at Utah State University and is part of the Fifth Grade Science Teacher Resource Book (TRB3) http://www.usoe.org/ curr/science/core/5th/TRB5/. The TRB3 was designed as a textbook for teaching science curriculum. This book covers all the objectives of each standard and benchmark. Students who comprehend the content in this lesson should do well on the End-of- Level (CRT) tests.

Is each insect unique in its physical characteristics and life cycle?

Do eggs that are laid always develop into an adult that looked like its parent?

Insect Game Key

Cricket

Honeybee

Boll Weevil

Honeybee

Cricket

Honeybee

Gypsy Moth

Mosquito

Boll Weevil

Mosquito

Boll Weevil

Mosquito

Cricket

Boll Weebil

Gypsy Moth

Cricket

Honeybee

Gypsy Moth

Cricket

Honeybee

Gypsy Moth

Mosquito

Boll Weevil

Gypsy Moth

Mosquito

Questions for Discussion, Investigation & Assessment

1. What determines whether a honey bee will be a worker or a queen?

2. How are honey bees like other insects?

3. If you knew what a honey bee larva was being fed during metamorphosis, could you determine what it would look like as an adult?

4. What phase of metamorphosis do all insects have in common?

5. What are the harmful or beneficial impacts that insects may have on people or our environment? Do any of these behaviors occur during metamorphosis? (gypsy moth larvae eating the leaves of the trees, creating a harmful environmental impact; beetle larvae aiding with the decomposition of garbage creates a beneficial impact)

6. Why do you think insects have managed to live so long upon the earth?

Additional Activities

Classify various insects according to similar phases of metamorphosis.

Have the students conduct insect observation. Ask them to make comparisons for the different seasons of the year regarding the locations (indoor, outdoor, on a plant, on the ground, and so on) and the types of behaviors observed. Evaluate how the students’ knowledge, observation skill, and attitudes toward insects changed through this activity.

Have the students relate how the boll weevil impacted the cotton industry in 1892. They may also want to examine the role of George Washington Carver and his effort to assist the black sharecroppers in the South. How did this insect affect life in America during this time period?

Watch the video, Honey Files to show students actual honey bee metamorphosis.

Have students develop an insect habitat for classroom investigation.

The metamorphosis of the following insects can be simple, yet engaging for student inquiry and discovery: mealworms to darkling beetles, caterpillars to butterflies, eggs to crickets.

Have the students journal their development, feeding patterns and behaviors. Chart or graph the information as a class to show comparisons and similarities in traits.

Honey Bee Life Stages Honey Bee Metamorphosis 1. A queen bee inserts her abdomen into

Honey Bee Life Stages

Honey Bee Metamorphosis

1. A queen bee inserts her abdomen into an empty cell and lays a soft, white oval egg about the size of a dot over an “i.”

2. After three days, a wormlike larva hatches from the egg. The larva is fed by worker bees and grows much larger.

3. On day ten, the larva stops eating and spins a silk covering called a co- coon around itself. An adult worker bee caps the cell with wax to protect the developing pupa. Inside the cocoon, a pupa develops and begins to look more like an insect than a worm. It grows eyes, legs, and wings.

4. Finally, an adult bee chews its way out of the cell.

4. Finally, an adult bee chews its way out of the cell. Queen laying eggs Larva

Queen laying eggs

Larva in cell

Pupa in cell

Adult chews out of cell

Although all bees develop in the same four stages, the time it takes each type of bee to grow is different:

BEE

EGG

LARVA

PUPA

ADULT

Queen

Days 1-3

Days 4-9

Days 10-15

Day 16

Worker

Days 1-3

Days 4-9

Days 10-20

Day 21

Drone

Days 1-3

Days 4-9

Days 10-23

Day 24

Answer the following questions with the appropriate answer:

A. Egg

B. Larva

C. Pupa

D. Adult

Stage at which eyes, legs, and wings grow

Is about the size of the dot on an “i”

Is fed by worker bees

Chews its way out of the cell

Shows the greatest change in size

A soft, white oval deposited by a queen bee

True or False A drone is fed only royal jelly during the entire larval stage Queens develop in the largest brood cells A drone takes the longest to develop into a mature adult It takes weeks for a honey bee egg to hatch into a larva Inside a cocoon, the pupa begins to look more like an insect than a worm A honey bee egg is about the size of your thumbnail All honey bees fully develop in two weeks Only a drone develops from an unfertilized egg

Can you name another insect that goes through the process of metamorphosis?

Insect Fact Cards

Honeybees are social insects that undergo complete metamorphosis from the wormlike larvae through a pupal stage to the flying adult. It lives in a hive with other bees. The queen lays the eggs; the males, or drones, serve only to mate with the queen; and the thousands of females, or workers, build and guard the hive, produce food for all the other bees, assist the queen and care for the young.

pupa larva egg
pupa
larva
egg

worker

queen

drone

Cotton Boll Weevil probably of Mexican or Central American origin, appeared in Texas in 1892. The young adult is grayish, with a long snout for boring into the cotton boll, or seed pod, where weevils feed on the cotton fibers. Weevils may also invade cotton flower buds before they mature into bolls. Females lay eggs within the bud, or the boll, where pupation occurs. The larvae eat the entire contents of the boll. Metamorphosis from egg to adult takes about three weeks; from 2 to 10 generations occur each season. Boll weevil devastation has been a major reason for diversification of the South’s historic cotton economy.

each season. Boll weevil devastation has been a major reason for diversification of the South’s historic

Mosquito larvae are called “wrigglers.” They have a long abdomen with a breathing siphon (or tube) and live in standing water. Adult males will suck plant juices, but adult females are blood- suckers on birds, mammals and humans. Mosquitos are found on every continent in the world. Mosquitos transmit some of the most deadly diseases such as yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria. Millions of people die from malaria every year.

the most deadly diseases such as yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria. Millions of people die

Crickets are incredible eaters! They feed on nearly all plants. Females will lay their eggs in the ground late in the fall. Eggs are not hurt by the cold temperatures of winter. They hatch in the spring when the soil warms up. An adult cricket can eat an average of 100 milligrams of food per day. A field full of crickets can consume as much as a cow, about 20 pounds of food per day. Early Utah pioneers nearly starved in the first few years of their settlement because of an overabundance of crickets. The Native Americans were familiar with the crickets as well, although they prefered to cook them and eat them like a snack food.

Americans were familiar with the crickets as well, although they prefered to cook them and eat

Gypsy Moth eggs hatch in April or May. By early June the eggs have developed into hungry caterpillars that begin to eat leaves on trees. Trees infested with gypsy moth caterpillars will become defoliated (all the leaves will be eaten). These trees eventually die because they cannot produce any food for themselves without their leaves. In July, the caterpillars encase themselves in brown shells. The adult males will emerge as brown-colored moths. Adult females will emerge as white moths which cannot fly. Entire forests have been destroyed by these caterpillars. Fortunately, gypsy moths are an important part of many birds' diets.

have been destroyed by these caterpillars. Fortunately, gypsy moths are an important part of many birds'

Insect Game Pieces

(cut apart)

HONEYBEE

HONEYBEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

BOLL WEEVIL

HONEYBEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

MOSQUITO

HONEYBEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

CRICKET

HONEYBEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

GYPSY MOTH

HONEYBEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

HONEYBEE

BOLL WEEVIL

MOSQUITO

 

GYPSY MOTH

HONEYBEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO   GYPSY MOTH
 
  CRICKET
  CRICKET

CRICKET

 

HONEY BEE

HONEY BEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

BOLL WEEVIL

HONEY BEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

MOSQUITO

HONEY BEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

CRICKET

HONEY BEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

GYPSY MOTH

HONEY BEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

HONEY BEE

 

BOLL WEEVIL

     
HONEY BEE   BOLL WEEVIL       GYPSY MOTH  

GYPSY MOTH

 
 
  MOSQUITO CRICKET

MOSQUITO

  MOSQUITO CRICKET

CRICKET

  MOSQUITO CRICKET
 

HONEYBEE

HONEYBEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

BOLL WEEVIL

HONEYBEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

MOSQUITO

HONEYBEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

CRICKET

HONEYBEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

GYPSY MOTH

HONEYBEE BOLL WEEVIL MOSQUITO CRICKET GYPSY MOTH

Insect Clue Game Board

(do not cut apart)

Eggs not hurt by cold temperatures

Larvae are called "wrigglers"

Hungry leaf-eating caterpillars

Complete

metamorphosis

Found on every continent

Wormlike

larvae

Has a long snout

Metamorphosis takes three weeks

Many of them can eat as much as a cow

Can defoliate or remove all the leaves of a tree

Larvae feed on cotton fibers

Transmits deadly diseases

Hatch from the warm soil

Important for bird's diets

Cause of diversification in cotton crops

Lives in a hive

Adult females cannot fly

Males suck

plant juices

Males are called drones

Females are bloodsuckers

Native American snack food

Workers guard the hive

Mexican or Central American origin

Will feed on nearly any plant

Eggs hatch in April or May

Parts of an Insect

antenna

Parts of an Insect antenna head eye thorax leg abdomen wing Striped Cucumber Beetle
head
head

eye

thorax

Parts of an Insect antenna head eye thorax leg abdomen wing Striped Cucumber Beetle

leg

abdomen

wing

Striped Cucumber Beetle