Xylocopa virginica is the Eastern Carpenter Bee. The eastern carpenter bee is often confused with the bumble bee because of their similar body structure and coloring. The eastern carpenter bee is the larger of the two, with a furry yellow thorax, and a hairless abdomen. Males and females can differentiated by coloring, males have a yellow or white head, while females have an all black head. Their wings are the smae length as their body, and are brown and iridescent. They recieve their common name because of how they nest. The females chew tunnels through wood, mostly conifers, following the grain. Once the tunnels are finished, they gather pollen to create nectar and place it in the nest. They then lay their eggs on top of the nectar. They typically have only one breeding season in New England, but south where it is warmer they may have two.
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For the method project, I decided to focus on bees. The thought came into my head one afternoon walking back from class, when I walked by a garden buzzing with bees. I took a few pictures, and later when I got home, I realized they were all different species of bees. I chose the largest bee for my project. Xylocopa virginica is the Eastern Carpenter Bee. The eastern carpenter bee is often confused with the bumble bee because of their similar body structure and coloring. The eastern carpenter bee is large, with a furry yellow thorax and a hairless abdomen. Males and females can be told apart because males have a yellow or white head, while females have an all black head. They recieve their common name because of how they nest. The females chew tunnels through wood mostly conifers, following the grain. Once the tunnels are finished, they gather pollen to create nectar and place it in the nest. They then lay their eggs on top of the nectar. The bees that I had taken photos of were gathering pollen from flowers, maybe for this purpose, and seemed undisturbed by my presence.
The factors I would control for this experiment is time, because bees are only active during the day. I would take pictures in the afternoon while its warm and sunny. Another factor is the species of flower, which appeared to have the most bees in comparison to other flowers in the garden. The other control would be to attempt to follow the same bee, because there are so many they can easily be confused between species and sex.
The paper Transoceanic Migration, Spatial Dynamics, and Population Linkages of White Sharks by Bonfil, was an observational report on the migration transoceanic migration of great white sharks. It investigated and challenged prior knowledge of great white sharks which stated that they mostly resided in California, Australia and South Africa, and the males travel between populations while females stay around the same area. (Bonfil et al. 2005) Information on the sharks was gathered through three methods: acoustic tags, satellite tags, and photo identification. The tags recorded depth, temperature, and tracked the individuals’ migration routes, and the photo identification kept track of which individuals were present off the coast of Gaansbai, South Africa.
The results of this study challenged older information, and set up a platform for more research, “(i) both sexes make transoceanic migrations, but only males reproduce in the recipient population, and/or (ii) females make transoceanic migrations and mate with males from the recipient population, only to return to their original location to give birth.” (Bonfil et al. 2005) They revealed that females are also making a transoceanic migration, instead of staying in their familiar habitat. This discovery plays a major role when determining a conservation strategy for these sharks. Instead of only protecting breeding grounds, there needs to be protection of the migration routes these mature females are using in order for conservation to be successful. There were also observations made about their behaviors, such as the possibility of using visual cues to navigate, and that their transoceanic migration is made at a shallow depth instead of diving deeply.
The report was informative, and served as a platform for further research. The observations made by these scientists can formulate a hypotheses for a more specific study. They used many methods for gathering paper, and I was disappointed that they left that information out of the paper. With acoustic, satellite and photo identification, I expected more detailed results and analysis. Instead, they focused on one shark that made the transoceanic migration. They also made very broad suggestions from minimal data collection. They did not specify the number of sharks tagged, but they used 57 tags. From that data, they suggested that sharks may use celestial cues to migrate instead of the Earth’s magnetic field, but they did not use their data to support it. Although the report was observational, the information gathered is important, and could be the basis for more studies on great white sharks and their behavioral or migration patterns.
Bonfil R., Meyer M., Scholl M., et. al, 2005, Transoceanic Migration, Spatial Dynamics, and Population Linkages of White Sharks, Science, v. 310, p. 100-103.
After looking through my daily activities, I categorized them based on certain characteristics. The three main categories were food, social time, and appearance. The food category was any time I cooked, ate, or cleaned up after eating. Because I have a limited meal plan, cooking and cleaning up after meals is a main activity in my day. Social time was any time I spent interacting with other people whether it was in real life or through technology. I live with 3 other girls and we spend a lot of time chatting with eachother. Appearance consisted of any activity I performed that affected my appearance, such as changing my clothes, doing my hair, or doing make up. I was surprised to see after listing it out that I changed my clothes 5 times yesterday.
Figure 1: Domestic Cat. Cats have large eyes in comparison to the size of their head.
The creature placed into the cup appeared to be a type of insect larvae. The creature was cream colored and had a soft, segmented body that meaured 21mm when fully extended. Its body displayed symmetry, the translucent skin revealing a lateral line that ran from head to tail. The head was clearly identifiable from the tail, being dark brown, hard, and shiny. There were no visible eyes, but anttenae that the larva utilized when moving. The larva moved with a wave-like motion that started with an extension of the head segment. It displayed a broad range of motion, the head segment was capable of lifting up and off the ground, moving left and right, and could curl to touch the tail segment. When flipped onto its back, the larva would right itself immediately; This response is probably because it would be vulnerable if it stayed on its back. While flipped, I observed three pairs of long legs in the front and four pairs of flat, suction cup like legs in the middle of its body. The longer legs extended and reached for things similar to how arms and hands do.
It is a small grub-like insect. It measures about 21mm in length. The body is segmented and the head segment is the most mobile. It is a cream color, soft bodied, and the skin is translucent. The body is symmetrical and the lateral line that runs from the head to the tail is visible. The thickest part of the body is the middle. The head is darker brown and shiny. It is able to extend and retract the head, and appears to use its head to sense where it is going.It has 3 pairs of long legs in the front and 4 pairs of flat suction cup like legs in the middle. When it isn't moving quickly, the tail segment is slightly curled down and relaxed. The grub moves by extending its head and then retracting its tail, creating a ripple up the body. When flipped onto its back, it is able to right itself quickly.