The Effects of Light and Dark Areas on a Pill Bug's Behavior over Time

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  • Topic: Light, Woodlouse, Armadillidium vulgare
  • Pages : 4 (1588 words )
  • Download(s) : 2979
  • Published : October 8, 2012
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Abstract

A two-part study was recently done to show what natural habitat a Pill bug, Armadillidium vulgare, naturally prefers: wet or dry environments along with a light or dark environment. It was hypothesized that a Pill bug would prefer and wet and dark environment based on its natural habitat of soil. For the wet and dry experiment, a coffee filter and soil were placed in each chamber of a double petri dish with one being dampened before being placed in. For the light and dry experiment a light was hung above one chamber of another double-chambered petri dish while the other chamber was covered with aluminum foil, after placing soil in both chambers. An equal number of Pill bugs was placed in each chamber and a study was taken for ten minutes where every thirty seconds the number of Pill bugs in each dish was counted. The results showed that Pill bugs, unlike it’s natural habitats, preferred light and dry environments.

Introduction

Pill bugs, or their scientific name of Armadillidium vulgare are small, very segmented insects beneficial to breaking down naturally decaying wood and leaves which is among them in moist beds of soil (The Dirt Doctor, www.dirtdoctor.com). They do not actually have eyes (only eyespots) so they rely on their antennae and help with the sensing of their surroundings. Since Pill bugs don't have eyes light is not a necessity for survival or everyday living. They have seven pairs of legs, a pair for each body segment, which makes for quicker transportation. Pill bugs also rely on a constant form of moisture because they dehydrate and dry out very easily, but have adapted the ability to absorb water vapor from their surrounding environment (PILLBUGS, www.northern.edu). Therefore, based on their lack of eyes and need for water, pill bugs generally tend to favor a darker, moist environment for an "optimal functioning" rate, however it is not completely "accepted" because pill bugs have been seen out in dry areas during...
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