Essay on Termite Lab Report

739 WordsOct 4, 20123 Pages
Termite Lab Report The effect of ink on termite behavior Abstract Termites produce special chemicals within their bodies called pheromones. Because termites are usually found inside dark areas, pheromones help them communicate in these places. Past studies have suggested that ink inside ballpoint pens contains pheromones, causing termites to follow any trail created by the ink. If a pathway is drawn with an ink pen, then a termite will be attracted to the path and trace it due to the pheromones. To test the behavior of termites in relation with the presence of ink, we outlined two shapes with two different writing utensils and timed how long out of a sixty second time period that the termite spent on each path. The results showed…show more content…
Our null hypothesis is that if a pathway is drawn with anything other than ink, the termite will not be attracted to it and will not follow the path drawn. Methods Two circles were drawn directly across from each other on plain white paper. One was drawn with a black Sharpie marker, and the other was drawn with a black ballpoint pen. Three separate termites were dropped directly in the middle of the two circles, and their reactions were recorded for sixty seconds. This was repeated once for each termite. Results The average time calculated for time spent on the pen outline was 26.9 seconds. The average time spent on the Sharpie marker outline was 2.4 seconds. The p-value was calculated to be 0.000309 for the pen and 0.000214 for the Sharpie. The standard deviation for the pen was found to be 25.66 and 3.97 for the Sharpie. Figure 1. Average Time Spent on Each Writing Utensil per 60 Seconds. Error bars represent one standard deviation above and below the mean. Discussion The results of this experiment support the idea that termites are drawn to follow the pheromones released from the ink in ballpoint pens rather than paths drawn with other writing utensils. The data collected shows that the majority of the termites spent a majority of the timed sixty seconds tracing the outline of the pen as opposed to the outline of the Sharpie marker. The ink

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