Pill Bug Lab Report

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Food Preferences in the Sow Bug (Porcellio Laevis)


The purpose of this experiment is to determine what kind of food the sow bug prefers; decaying leaves, potatoes, grapes, or sow bug food.


If a sow bug is placed in a choice tray, and has access to decaying leaves, potatoes, grapes, and sow bug food, the sow bug will choose the decaying leaves over its other options. This hypothesis was based on research stating that a sow bug's main food source is decaying vegetation. This is the food they are accustomed to and therefore will select over the other three options which they rarely if ever would have access to.


-Twelve sow bugs

-Bisected grapes

-Chunks of potato

-Decaying leaves

-Pinch of sow bug food
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This information would suggest that the sow bugs were not especially interested in food at the time the experiment took place.

The data gathered might not have been conclusive in discovering the preferred food source of sow bugs, but it at least showed that the decaying leaves were what they were attracted to for whatever reason. This information could be used in a variety of different ways. It would be helpful in pest control as well as in keeping a sow bug alive. For people who consider sow bugs a nuisance, the data could reduce the population of sow bugs in certain areas by removing the decaying leaves. This would make the habitat less inviting and therefore discourage the presence of sow bugs.

When relating the information to a wider variety of topics, even though the information was not conclusive, it came to attention that the preference of habitat or food source in sow bugs has a major effect on the areas in which they live and on the organisms survival. Whether it is because of food and/or environmental related issues the fact that the sow bugs preferred to reside in and/or eat the decaying leaves shows that areas with significant quantities of decaying leaves have a chance of being affected by sow bugs. Because decaying matter is a main food source for sow bugs it could be assumed that if sow bugs resided in an area containing decaying leaves, they would also be ingesting them. This would have an impact on that environment. When the sow bugs eat the
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