University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from St. Odilia 2006

St. Odilia
3495 Victoria St N
Shoreview, MN 55126

Year: 2006
Teacher(s): Caroline Waskow

AMazing Boxelders

Elizabeth N, Mary C, Megan E

We wanted to test if box elder bugs have enough intelligence to complete an obstacle course in ten minutes and ten seconds or less. We did this experiment because we wanted to find out more about box elder bugs and whether or not they could actually get through the obstacles. We found out that it totally depends on the bug itself. One bug took five seconds to go through the maze, while another bug we had to stop timing because it went over ten minutes. Our experiment and results aren’t one hundred percent accurate because we only tested seven bugs and we only had one person timing. Our obstacle course wasn’t exactly the same every single day because we had to move the course back and forth every day. We learned that box elder bugs have enough intelligence to go through the obstacle course that we presented to the bugs. We also learned that box elder bugs have different personalities and respond to things differently. The third thing we learned was that box elder bugs love to crawl over and explore everything!

Cricket Surface Preference

Anna N, Mary O

The experiment was done to find out what type of surface crickets like best between grass, woodchips, cardboard, dirt, sandpaper, potting soil, and sand. The crickets preferred the woodchips the most and cardboard the least. Some things that might have affected it are the amount of time that they were given, which was two minutes, and the amount of crickets, which was five. During the project we learned a lot about cricket behaviors and how crickets are able to burrow and camouflage in woodchips.

Crickets and Thier Colors

Patrick R, Alex M

Abstract We did this experiment to see if crickets were attracted to colors. One cricket was put in a squared box at a time. The box had one color on each wall. The colors were red, blue, green, and yellow. The cricket was put in the middle of the box to see what color they went to or if they went to a color. Each cricket was tested two times. Once the cricket went to a color the color was recorded on a piece of paper. Ten crickets were tested. The cricket’s favorite color was green, but just as many crickets didn’t go to any colors, they just went to the corner and tried to get out of the box. Some of the factors that could have affected the experiment was that the box had a tiny hole in the corner that some of the crickets went out of and they were scared so maybe they didn’t really care what color they went to. We also noticed that when they crawl they drag their back legs. Usually the crickets didn’t just stare at the color, they would just climbed right up the box.


Luci B, Olivia L

ABSTRACT We wanted to find out what insect spiders like the best. We used two spiders and fed them each twelve pairs of bugs. After recording their meal choices, we concluded that they like the biggest insects the best, most likely because the large insects drowned out the small insect's vibrations so the spider was unaware of its presence. However, the experiment may not have been as accurate as it could have because the sample size was so limited, and that one insect was usually a tad closer that the other to the spider. We learned that spiders must really need to eat a ton, because even though the crickets and box elders were much larger than the spider, it still ate them every time they were offered.

Mmm Mmm

Blaire B

Abstract: I observed ten mealworms, for three days, on which combination of green or orange paper and vanilla or strawberry extract they’re on the most. To see whether or not they were blind and/or had a sense of smell. The mealworms liked green paper and vanilla extract the best. Some uncertainties I have are if the food wasn’t quite spread out evenly or if the mealworms were just moving to any space, not because of the color and scent. One of the things I learned was that mealworms like green paper better than orange paper. Another thing I learned was that mealworms like vanilla extract better than strawberry extract.

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