Effects of larva size and temperature on the rate of pupation superworm.jpg image by Austin_Hockey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purpose/Intro:  As a class we have provided a habitat for our superworms to grow.  We will now design an experiment that would allow us to determine whether the size of the larva and temperature have an effect on how fast they pupate.  Superworms are the larval form of a species of darkling beetle, the life cycle includes, eggs, larva, pupa and adult.  Superworms are bred by people to feed their reptiles and knowing their life cycles is important in order to maintain a continuous supply of food for their pets.

 

Definitions:

pupation:  the act of becoming a pupa.

pupa:  Any insect in that stage of its metamorphosis which usually immediately precedes the adult stage.

 

Hypothesis: 

 

 

Control groups:   (“what do I keep the same”)

 

Independent variable: (“what do I change”)

 

Dependent variable: (“what do I observe”)

 

Procedure:

Separate the larva and measure their length.  Identify them by assigning a number and place them in a container and label the compartment with the number you assigned.  Make sure that the container will keep the larva separated from each other.  4 larvae will be placed under a lamp that will maintain their temperature at 70-80o F and 4 will be at room temperature.  Make sure to write down the date and time.  Make observations and fill out the chart.  

                                                                                                                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1.  Superworms in container

 

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

Pupa Comparison Chart:

Look for molten skin

 

Observations:                   

DATE

Superworm #

Size (cm)

Color/appearance

Pupa/ yes or no

 

1

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

DATE

Superworm #

Color/appearance

Pupa/ yes or no

 

1

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

DATE

Superworm #

Color/appearance

Pupa/ yes or no

 

1

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

DATE

Superworm #

Color/appearance

Pupa/ yes or no

 

1

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

DATE

Superworm #

Color/appearance

Pupa/ yes or no

 

1

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

DATE

Superworm #

Color/appearance

Pupa/ yes or no

 

1

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

8

 

 

 


 

Results: ( Graph your results)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

 

 

 

Questions:  Applying the concepts of the Scientific Method answer the following questions:

 

1.     Was your hypothesis correct?

 

2.    Do you think there is a relationship between size and temperature?

 

 

3.    Does the experimental set up help answer the question being sought?  What are other variables or parameters that could have affected the results?

 

4.    What could be some sources of error?

 

 

 

5.    How would you improve this experiment?