The experiment is designed to determine which substrate, A (oat bran) or B (peat moss) will be better nourishment for a mealworm after exposed for 7 days. A total of 30 mealworms were placed in the substrates for a period of 7 days; 15 in substrate A and 15 in substrate B. The data was compiled and analyzed on day 7 to determine the change of mass in each of the mealworms. The experiment proved my hypothesis to be correct; the mealworms would not thrive in either substrate.
Using the scientific method, it is necessary to obtain some information about mealworms and each of the substrates. Mealworms, also known as Tenebrio molitor, live in areas surrounded by what they eat under rocks, logs, in animal burrows and stored grains. These are dark, cool and moist places. (The University of Arizona, 1997) The ideal temperature to maintain growth in the mealworm is 77-81 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above 86 degrees Fahrenheit negatively impact growth and development of the mealworm. (Burdett, 2010)The purpose of the experiment is to observe how substrate A or substrate B will impact the growth of the larvae. Oat bran is the outer husk of the oat grain. It contains the bulk of the dietary fiber of the grain, along with a large amount of useful materials. (Smith) Peat moss is decomposing, dead parts of sphagam moss that usually are found deep in a bog. It is rich in organic matter, and typically can hold up to 20 times its dry weight in water. (Gordon) My hypothesis is the mealworms would not thrive in either substrate due to the temperature they are being stored.
Materials and Methods
In this experiment, 30 mealworms were weighed and their mass was recorded. Then 15 were put in substrate A and 15 were put into substrate B to test which would make the mealworm grow bigger and faster. Each mealworm was placed in a plastic vial with either substrate A or B and we used a graduated 1 ml...