Effect of Substrate Choice on Growth of Mealworms

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Effect of Substrate Choice on Growth of Mealworms

By | March 2010
Page 1 of 4
Effect of Substrate Choice On Growth
Of Mealworms

Abstract: The experiment is designed to show which substrate A or B will better nourish a mealworm. A mealworm was placed in each substrate for a period of seven days and the change in mass from Day 1 to Day 7 was compared. The data was compiled and statistically analyzed. The experiment failed to reject the null hypotheses that there would be no difference in the two substrates regarding meal worm growth. The conclusion that there was a difference requires more experimentation to obtain additional information. Introduction:

Using the scientific method it is necessary to gain some knowledge about mealworms and the two different substrates. Mealworms are the larvae of Tenebrio molitor, commonly known as the darkling beetle. They are from the kingdom animalia and the class insecta. These mealworms are 1/2” to 3/4” long and have a slightly tough exterior useful for burrowing. They prefer to live in areas where moist organic matter is abundant. The beetles and larvae eat decaying leaves, sticks, and as composters eat dead insects and stored grains. (CEISO, The University of Arizona, 1997) Mealworms do not thrive in wet or moldy conditions. Mealworms are easy to raise and multiply quite rapidly at 80 degrees F. Size is largely a matter of feed and temperature. (Ohio State University Extension, 2000) The purpose of the experiment is to find out how the choice of substrate A, oat bran or substrate B, peat moss will impact mealworm growth. Oat bran is the outer covering or bran of the oat grain and is a stored grain. Peat moss is a genus of between 151-350 species of mosses composed of the live part growing on top of a peat bog, and sphagnum peat moss, the decaying matter underneath. Members of this genus can hold large quantities of water inside their cells; some species can hold up to 20 times their dry weight in water. (Wikipedia, 2009) Materials:...