The Crosby Arboretum is very pleased to announce that Dr. John Guyton will return to Bugfest Friday and Saturday September 21 and 22, 2012. Dr. Guyton is an Associate Extension Professor in the Department of Biochem, MolBio, Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University. He is also the Director of the oldest Bug and Plant Camp in the world.
This year Dr. Guyton is bringing with him a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) that has a maximum magnifying capability of about 10,000X. When asked “What is special about this microscope?”, Dr. Guyton replied, “This SEM enables us to image pollen as well as plant and insect parts. Since we will bring a horticultural student with us I hope to image the hairs inside a pitcher plant tube and have a closer look at the mites and other critters that live in the tubes.” This new feature to Bugfest is sure to be a big hit. “It can also provide images of things such as the pollen adhering to bees hair, detailed images of the pads on some insects feet and other not so visible insect features and impressive images of insects stingers”, said Dr. Guyton. When asked what else he plans to use it for at Bugfest, he replied, “I have not imaged a mosquito but think we would have a greater appreciation for its intricate adaptations and physical features – if not its annoying bite!” Dr. Guyton and his students plan to bring “canned images” of insect parts to show in addition to the use of the SEM. The way the microscope works is that the SEM connects to a computer and the images are viewed on the computer. The images are black and white. (view his image above of pollen viewed with a SEM)
The technician trained to operate the SEM is Ms. Breanna Lyle, longtime volunteer of The Crosby Arboretum, also known as “spider girl”.
There are still spots available for schools to register for “School Day” of Bugfest during Friday day. Just call 601-799-2311 to register your school group. We hope everyone will come for a very BUGGY weekend at the Arboretum.
Creepin’ and Crawlin’,
Sr. Curator, R. Stafne