bio lab stuff!!

bio lab stuff!! - Testing the Significance of an...

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Testing the Significance of an Indentation in Trail-Following with Termites. Author: Matt Idleman Lab Partners: Ali Yousefi, Jake Keeting, and Thomas Wright Teacher’s Assistant: Michael Levy Biology 115 Lab; Thursday 4:30PM
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Introduction Many experiments have already been done in regard to termites and their trail-following habits. The majority of the focus has been on the use of pheromones. It has been confirmed that termites secrete a trail-following substance from their sterna glands (Matsumura et al, 1968) that is used for worker termites to lead other termites to suitable wood. Also, this trail-following pheromone can be found in ballpoint pen ink and has been identified as 2-phenoxylethanol (Chen et al, 1988). Termites of any species will follow this pheromone because these trails are not species specific (Wobst et al, 1999). However, it appears that no research or experimentation has been done on whether the presence of an indentation aids in a termite’s trail following habits. It has been stated that “trail following in termites is sometimes difficult to interpret, because the termites do not seem to be highly discriminating in what they will follow” (Traniello, 1982). However, the focus still remains on chemicals’ role in the trail-following and no other possible aspects. For that reason, the question should be raised that what if there is another contributing factor? This study was therefore conducted to examine the possibility of the indentation made by either leading termites or wood grain in nature, and/or the mark of the ballpoint pen in previous experiments. If termites also follow an indentation, then this would help explain why different species of termites will all follow the same trails (Wobst et al, 1999). For this experiment, my hypothesis is that termites will follow an indented line without any pheromones for an equal or greater distance than a line made with ink-pen ink containing pheromones and no indentation.
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Materials and Methods One piece of regular 8”x11.5” paper was placed on a flat surface and a straight 10 cm.
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bio lab stuff!! - Testing the Significance of an...

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