University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Weaver Lake Elementary 2013

Weaver Lake Elementary
15900 Weaver Lake Road
Maple Grove, MN 55311

Year: 2013
Teacher(s): Shannon Comisar, Karla Juetten, Matt MacPhail, Mary Moran, Richard Veth, Andrea Wilson Vazquez

2013 Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

Mackinon M

The purpose of our investigation was to see if in a situation where a M. h. cockroach was out of its natural habitat could see apples as a possible food source. We created a track and placed apples at the end and measured how far towards the apples the roaches went. We did the experiment with two different cockroaches three times each. This showed us that the cockroaches were not affected by the apples to use as a food source.

A Hissing Cockroaches Favorite Color

Foysal A

We completed an experiment where we found out what a Madagascar hissing cockroaches favorite color would be. A box was set up with three different colors, green, blue, and yellow. The cockroaches were timed for one minute to see which color they preferred. We soon found out that the cockroaches went to the green the most. The cockroaches may have preferred the green because some of the food represents the same color as the paper.

An Investigation of the Clinging Power of Hissing Cockroaches

Niyati A, Maggie B, Lauren B, Morgan M

We put a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach upside down on different surfaces for 15 seconds to see if it could hold on. They could climb easily on the rough surfaces, but they had difficulty on the smooth ones.

Battle of the Sexes

Blake G, Sam S, Jack L

In our investigation, we were trying to figure out if the male or female Madagascar Hissing Cockroach can lift more weight. We found out that our H1 hypothesis was supported by our data: the male Madagascar Hissing Cockroach was able to lift more weight than the female. We also had another conclusion; a male Madagascar Hissing Cockroach can lift about 1.934 times as much as a female Madagascar Hissing Cockroach with both of the contraptions made with Legos.

Beetles on the Run

Abranette B, Lily N, Sasmit R

When we were observing darkling beetles in class and one of our team members saw that one of the beetles was climbing on her pencil. This is what led to our investigation, which was finding out how well a darkling beetle could move on different substrates. It turned out that the majority of the beetles fell off the substrate we placed them onto. It was a rare occurrence that a beetle would climb up or down the given substrate. We came to a conclusion that darkling beetles have some climbing ability, but not on many substrates.

Bess Beetle vs. Surfaces

Cynthia A, Nilyma P, Huong L

We did an experiment on how long it takes a Bess Beetle to flip right side up on a smooth surface and a rough surface. We did three trials. On the rough surface, it took less than ten seconds for it to flip over. On the smooth surface, it didn’t flip at all. The Bess Beetle didn’t have anything to grip on. Our H2 was correct: if the Bess Beetle is on a rough surface, then it will flip more slowly than on a smooth surface.

Bess Beetles Preference on Different Colors

Ryan H

We tested what Bess beetles preferred green, pink, blue, white, or yellow. We took a bin that was 5” by 3” and taped the colors to the bottom of the bin. Then we put one Bess beetle on the bottom and timed how long the Bess beetle stayed on the colors and did the same thing to another one. In conclusion, both Bess beetles preferred mostly green because they stayed on green the longest.

Can a Bess Beetle Get out of a Maze Faster In Light or Dark?

Tristan H

We wanted to figure out whether a Bess beetle could get out of a maze faster in dark or light. We built a Lego maze and put the Bess beetle in it, and timed it for five minutes. The Bess beetle seemed to make it out of the maze faster in dark than in light.

Cling, Cling, Cling! What Can a Cockroach Cling To?

Morgan G, Cameron G, Evalynn T, Maliha W

We put cockroaches on different surfaces and then turned the surface to find out if they could hold on, They were able to hold on to all of the surfaces, but had the most success with the sandpaper.

Cockroach Adventures

Nicolas V

We learned that they were a little faster on dirt than on sand, but not much. This data supports our H1 hypothesis; the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach will find its food more slowly on sand than on dirt. We learned that the surface might make a difference.

Cockroach Terrains

Heather B, Madi K

In our investigation on 5 different Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, we studied how long each one would stay in different substrates: rocks, sand, and mulch. To do this, we placed the cockroach in the first area, and when it left the area, we stopped the timer. We also stopped the timer if it hadn't moved after 5 minutes had passed. Then we repeated that for the other substrates. We found that the area the cockroaches spent the most time in was the mulch.

Color Preference of Darkling Beetles!

Justice M, Ty M, Joel N, Tony Z

We put darkling beetles in a color container and a plain white container to see how a possible color preference would affect the behavior of darkling beetles. The beetles seemed to prefer the orange section of the colored container but did not have a clear section preferred in the plain white container.

Darkling Beetles

Comfort O

We did a test to find out if Darkling Beetles would spend more time on dry or moist grass. We found that the beetles we tested spent more time on the moist grass.

Finding Fruit

Taryn V

We took two cockroaches and let them walk to different fruits to see what they would eat. We knew that they ate apples and oranges. We found that the roaches went to the kiwi the most.

Food Preference of the Bess Beetles: Pears vs. Apples

Kayla N, Jacob R, Larry W

We wanted to find out what a bess beetle liked better, an apple or a pear. We found the results surprising because we expected them to like the apple. Our data shows that the total number of times traveled to apples was 1 time, The total number of times traveled to pears was 8 and the total number of times the bess beetle preferred nothing was 21 times.

Hide and Seek

Kate H, Janelle G, Abbey B

For our investigation we wanted to see if the type of shelter or cover a Bess Beetle is placed in a box with affects the ability of the Bess Beetle to find it. To do this we timed how long it took each Bess Beetle to find each shelter/cover. We tested three types of shelter/covers: wood, plastic, and leaves. Our results showed that the Bess Beetles found the leaf shelter/cover the fastest. This supports our second hypothesis: If we place a Bess Beetle in the same spot each time, then it will find the leaf shelter the fastest.

Hissing Cockroach Insect Investigation

Charlize P

Our group did an investigation on how wind affects a male and female hissing cockroach. Our hypotheses were that the hissing cockroach will move away from the fan and the hissing cockroach will move towards the fan and that the hissing cockroach will not move at all. We put a hissing cockroach on the track with a fan sitting right behind it and we let the cockroach for five seconds with fan off, then fan on low then on high. The data that we recorded was how many centimeters the cockroach went in five seconds. We found out that the hissing cockroach moved away from the wind which was our first hypothesis.

How Does Predator Noises Affect the Behavior of Hissing Cockroaches

Sophia Y, Sami K, Sara A, Cassidy C

Our group is doing an investigation of noises affecting the hissing cockroaches behavior. We created the habitat with logs, dried leaves, and rocks. We used an iPad for the predator noises. It was a very fun research project. The noise that made the cockroaches move most is the black bird noise. Our conclusion is that hissing cockroaches react to many different noises in the wild.

Light or Dark

Tory G, Noelle S, Anna J

We wanted to find out if cockroaches would spend more time in a light or dark habitat. We designed a bow with a light side and a dark side. We recorded the time spent in each area for two minutes. We found that cockroaches spent more time in the light side.

Light vs. Dark: What Makes the Bess Beetle Move?

Zehn M

We put a bess beetle in a maze to see how light and dark would affect the distance it traveled in five minutes. We found that they traveled further in the dark.

Mission Impossible: Bess Beetles

Zeph Y, Caleb G, Thomas S

In the Mission Impossible investigation, we had three different types of wood: warm, cold, and room temperature. We put the Bess Beetles on one piece of wood, either warm, cold or room temperature, and they had to hang upside down for as long as they could. The Bess Beetles held on longest on the room temperature wood. This hypothesis that was supported was "If the temperature of the wood is cold, then the Bess Beetles will hang on longer than if the wood is warm or room temperature."

Pick a Color, Any Color

Emma S

We put four colored squares in a bin and put a cockroach in the middle and then we timed how long it was on each color. We did this to see if the color affected the madagascar hissing cocroaches' behavior. We found that the cockroaches spent more time on orange than on the other colors.

Preferred Shelter of Bess Beetles

Austin W

We wanted to see what kind of shelter Bess beetles preferred, so we set up a bin with four different environments, leaves, grass, pebbles, and sticks, to see which they preferred. They preferred the sticks the most, with the pebbles not far behind and the other two pretty close together as well. I noticed that the Bess beetles have a pretty good sense of direction, see if you can figure out why. You’ll need to know that their permanent habitat was in the direction of the man-made shelter when we started, and that the turn happened after the 4th trial of Bess beetle.

Roach Reaction

Quinn C, Hannah D, Charles K

Our investigation was to see if predator sounds affect the behavior of the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. We did the investigation because we wanted to see if they would hide from predator sounds and what they might do in the wild. The hypothesis that was supported was that Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches will run toward shelter instead of away from a sound source, but we also learned that with or without sound the cockroaches will go to shelter most of the time.

The Darkling Beetles Dig!


We put darkling beetles in a container to see if the depth of the substrate affected how deep the Darkling Beetle would dig. We found that the deeper the substrate, the deeper the darkling beetle will big down.

The Height a Bess Beetle Can Climb up Vertical Surfaces

Joah B, Lucas Y

We tested to see how high a bess beetle can climb up a vertical surface. We put a bess beetle on different surfaces. What happened was the bess beetle did not climb up the front of the whiteboard, but everything else was a breeze!

Travelling Cockroaches

Sam P

I saw that cockroaches could move very fast so I decided to figure out how far they would walk/run in one minute. They all walked at least 20 centimeters in one minute.

Warm Vs. Cold

Kaylen D, Katherine Q, Lynnea J

In our investigation we placed a Bess Beetle in a cold habitat and a warm habitat. We did this to see which habitat the Bess Beetle was more active in. We found that the Bess Beetles were more active in the warm habitat than in the cold habitat. This supports our second hypothesis: If the Bess Beetles are in a cold habitat, then they will be less active than in a warm habitat.

What's My Favorite Color?

Hannah G, Bethany L, Noah P

In our experiment we put bess beetles in a container with six different colors. We wanted to see what color they preferred. We recorded what color each beetle stayed on the longest. We did this five times with five beetles. We learned that bess beetles like blue the best.

  • © 2015 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy