Before starting my experiment, I observed the lab that was provided to me. On my lab table there was a tray with many tools inside. There were rulers, tongs, probes, and a timer. These alone would help me build a problem and experiment. Also there was an empty double sided petri dish. There was also another petri dish with a lid. In this petri dish were 5 mealworms. There was also a microscope in the corner and a small cup filled with raw oatmeal.
After examining the mealworms, my lab group came up with many different experimental problems to test on the mealworms. Ultimately, we decided to test if the mealworms preferred staying in the dark or in the sunlight.
Mealworms are actually not worms. They are the larval stage of darkling beetles. Darkling beetles are also referred as Tenebrio beetles. Mealworms are a golden brown. They have many divided segments in their bodies. They also have 6 legs in the front of their bodies. They wear an exoskeleton on their bodies and shed it periodically.
Just like a butterfly, darkling beetles go through a life cycle before they are fully grown. During this metamorphosis, they have four stages to go through. First, the mother darkling beetle will lay hundreds of tiny eggs. These eggs are white in color. One egg can barely be seen by the naked eye. In about 4 to 20 days, the eggs will hatch and the beetle will begin the next stage which is called larva. The main goals of the larvae is to eat and grow. This stage lasts from 90 to 114 days. After this stage the mealworms curl up in to the next state called pupae. The pupa don’t eat and they don’t move. However, thy are turning into beetles inside the cocoons. Similar to when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. In about 2 or 3 weeks, the pupa splits open and out comes the last stag which is the darkling beetle. They come out white but soon turn brown then black in a coarse of a day.
Mealworms and darkling beetles eat wood matter,...