T. Molitor Experiment

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In this lab, an experiment was done in order to test how the abiotic factor of temperature affects a Tenebrio molitor’s activity level. Both experiments conducted consisted of two separate treatment trials; one in a warm environment (25 C) and one in a relatively cold environment (14 C). Results obtained from these experiments both showed a higher level of T. molitor activity in warmer environments as opposed to the cold environment where less activity occurred. In this case, the activity level of a T. molitor was measured by distance travelled (cm) over one minute. Prior to preforming the experiment, the prediction was made; An increase in environmental temperature will lead to an increased activity level of T. molitor. This prediction was …show more content…
molitor is heavily influenced by the environmental temperature in which it inhabits. T. molitor is subject to temperature change in their natural environment, the temperature rainforest to semi-arid environments of Western North America, both seasonally and daily. Temperature has an impact on a T. molitors biological processes, and therefore depending on temperature would most probably decrease the fertility of T. molitor. This is supported by Fred Punzo’s study on the temperatures impact on the physiology of T. molitor. Temperatures lower that 10 C prevent oviposition (process of laying eggs), and temperatures greater than 35 C females release a reduced amount of eggs, but not by a significant amount (Punzo, 1975). Punzo also stated that egg laying of T. molitor was greatest at 25 C (Punzo, 1975). The fertility problem is associated to “environmental temperatures directly [influencing] enzyme reaction rates” (Punzo, 1975). Enzymatic reactions slow in cold temperatures and increase in warm temperatures so therefore in cold temperatures, enzymatic activity slows results in no eggs being laid. The time of optimal temperature (around 25 C) for T. molitor to lay eggs is restricted to a few months, and therefore activity level of the organism will spike in warm environments in order to accomplish tasks such as mating, nesting, gathering food for their offspring in those few …show more content…
molitor. During our second experiment, the colours of the T. molitor was noted, and the two T. molitor of dark brown colour used, moved relatively slow as compared to the others. Our results showed that the two dark brown T. molitor moved a mean distance of 3.8cm, whereas the three black T. molitor of the same trial moved a mean distance of 17.6 cm (one moved an abnormal amount of 28cm), the two brown T. molitor moved a mean distance of 9.05 cm (one of them was missing 2 legs), and the three light brown T. molitor moved a mean distance of 12.4 cm. Although unclear as to why, the most probable cause is the relationship to pathogen resistance and colour of T. molitor, where the change in colour signifies immune suppression and therefore susceptibility to pathogens (Armitage & Siva-Jothy, 2005).

Our experiment testing how environmental temperature affects a T. molitors activity level provided results showing that an increased environmental temperature results in an increased activity level. Likewise, a cold environmental temperature was shown to decrease a T. molitors activity level, and after conducting statistical analysis of our results (p-value) we can conclude that our findings support the original hypothesis: an increase in environmental temperature will result in an increase in T. molitor activity

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