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Example Scientific Paper - Discovering Mealworms Growth in...

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Discovering Mealworms’ Growth in Relation to the Nutrients in Their Environments Elizabeth Long September 28, 2008
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Abstract The mealworm is a larva of the common darkling beetle. It gains weight through the nutrients in its environment. Due to the impending shortage of these insects we propose an experiment to find which environment leads to more substantial growth. The experiment that was chosen measures the mass of the mealworm before and after seven days in either wheat bran or peat moss. The mealworms placed in wheat bran grew more substantially than that of the mealworms placed in the peat moss. These results have helped us understand how the nutrients in the mealworms’ environment aid in its growth. Future experiments could lead to finding the exact nutrients needed to enhance the growth of the mealworm thus stopping the imminent scarcity of the organism. Introduction Mealworms are larvae of the common darkling beetle classified in the Arthropoda Phylum, Insecta Class, and Coleoptera Order (CISEO, 1997). They are yellow in color and are approximately two centimeters long (FLOSS WEB, 2008). They are general decomposers that feast on grasses, leaves, feces and dead insects (CISEO, 1997). However, they often infest mills and granaries (Encarta, 2008). Mealworms are holometabolic insects. They undergo four life-stages, the first being the egg stage where they are little white eggs. The next stage is the larva stage where they look worm like with a segmented thorax and abdomen. At this point their legs are directly underneath their heads. The third stage is the pupa stage. During this phase the mealworms curl up and stay in a rigid cocoon-like shell for several days to several months depending on the temperature and season of their environment. The final stage, adulthood (the darkling beetle), comes when they
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emerge from their pupa stage. They wait several days for their wings to dry all the while turning browner. The larva stage is particularly important to our experiment because it lends to the greatest change in mass according to development by gaining nutrients from the surrounding substrate. (Wikipedia, 2008) Because of the impending shortage of mealworms we need to find an environment that leads to faster and more substantial growth (Street, R 1999). I hypothesize that the mealworms will gain more mass in the wheat bran as opposed to the peat moss. Mealworms gain weight from the nutrients in the surrounding soil. While wheat bran contains a large variety of nutrients, peat moss only collects and retains nutrients from the soil surrounding it (CSPMA, 1996). Therefore, I think it is reasonable to assume that the mealworms will grow larger in the wheat
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2012 for the course BIOL 1406 taught by Professor Markgarcia during the Fall '11 term at Collins.

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Example Scientific Paper - Discovering Mealworms Growth in...

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