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Termite Lab Report

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Ryan Bohler

on 10 June 2013

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Transcript of Termite Lab Report

Termite Lab Report The purpose of this experiment was to determine which color of pen the termite would follow best. Conclusion (Purpose of Experiment) 1. Got two pieces of white printer, one petri dish, and "Ink" pens in red, blue, and black.
2. Traced three circles on the printer paper using one petri dish as a stencile.
3. Got my termites and a small paint brush to remome them from petri dish.
4. Observed termites on test paper
5. timed for 5 min
6. brushed termites back into petri dish Procedure Introduction Our hypothesis was supported by the results. Our hypothesis was that the termite would follow the blue pen the most. Conclusion (Hypothesis) Some inferences that I could make is that the chemicals in the blue pen mimic the ones that a termite from the colony we were using would produce. I make this inference based on the fact that the termite followed the blue line for the most. Conclusion (Inferences) Conclusion (Explain Results) We think that the reason the results came out the way they did, because the blue pen has chemicals in it that mimic the chemicals created by the termite colony that the termite came from. We know this, because termites create a special chemical called a pheromones and other termites from the colony follow the trail left by them. Some new questions we have now are if termites from different colonies would react the same way to the pens? Or if termites would follow the lead in pencils, or the ink in sharpies and highlighters. Conclusion (New Questions) Question: What effect does ink color have on termites? Hypothesis: If the ink color is blue, then the termite will follow it for the longest period of time. Materials: Blue, black, and red "Ink" pens, white printer paper, two petri dishes, and three termites. Background Information: The objective of the experiment was to determine why the termites continuously followed a certain color, and also why it occasionally went off track. Observations prior to our experiment included; the termite continuously following 3 different colored circle and occasionally went off track.

Termites primarily communicate by secreting chemicals called pheromones. Each colony develops its own characteristic odor. An intruder is instantly recognized and an alarm pheromone is secreted that triggers the soldier termites to attack. when a worker finds a new source of food, it recruits others to that food source by laying down a chemical trail. The proportion of termites in each caste is within the colony is also regulated chemically. The means of communication and dependence on smell lead us to conduct this experiment. Background: Termites & Ink Pens
Most termites found in the Southeast are refereed to as subterranean termites,
meaning that the major portion of the colony is located underground, which provides
them the moisture that they require. In order to maintain the social structure of these
colonies, these termites use a sophisticated chemical (pheromone) communication
system. Although termites utilize a wide range of pheromones categorized as trail,
alarm, aggregation, recruitment, mating, and others, this exercise only examines trail
pheromones. This type of pheromone is produced by termites when they are trying to
get other members of the colony to follow them to a particular area, perhaps a new food
source for the colony. Trail pheromones, like most other types, are typically short-lived
so that when the food source is no longer available, the trail rapidly dissapates. This
keeps workers from going to the location after the food source is no longer present.
The drying agent in the ink in Papermate® and Scripto® pens acts similar to the trail
pheromone of the eastern subterranean termite Works Cited •
Termites & Pheromones for Control | Termite Control. (n.d.). Termite Control. Retrieved June 10, 2013, from http://www.termite-control.com/methods/approaches/termites-pheromones-for-control/


Termites - Facts About Termites - Types of Termitse - PestWorldforKids.org. (n.d.). Pest Control Information for School Kids and Teachers - PestWorldforKids.org. Retrieved June 10, 2013, from http://www.pestworldforkids.org/termites.html Google. (n.d.). Google. Retrieved June 10, 2013, from http://www.google.com/search?gs_rn=16&gs_ri=&suggest=p&cp=q=termites By Ryan Bohler & my partner in Puerto Rico
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