Reticulitermes Lab Report

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Introduction: Reticulitermes flavipes, eastern subterranean termites, produce pheromones in special glands on their bodies. It is known that they use pheromones to communicate with each other, since termites are mostly blind. One instance that termites use pheromones is trail marking, which is when a termite finds a food source and will leave a trail of their pheromones from the food source back to the nest for other termites to follow. After doing research it was found that some pen’s ink contains the solvent attractive to Reticulitermes flavipes. The chemical in the ink is similar to the pheromones termites produce, causing them to follow the ink as if it were a pheromone trail left behind from another termite. We decided to test whether or not the…show more content…
We used Papermate® Gel pens and Papermate® Classic pens. There are some differences in the two inks, one being that the gel pen has ink that will easily smear if rubbed and takes longer to dry, and the classic pen has ink that dried quickly and won’t smear. The inks also must be made of different components since they have different characteristics. Our independent variable was the different pens; the dependent variable was whether the termites liked one more. Everything else was kept constant; we kept the same pens each time, the same paper, and same environment that each ink was tested. The lab: The materials needed were eastern subterranean termites, which were kept alive in a moist environment, a pan, a blank piece of paper, and the two types of Papermate® pens. Type A being the gel pen, and Type B being the classic pen. The paper was put in the pan and two of the same sized circles, one with Type A (Circle A) and one with Type B (Circle B), were drawn on the same sheet of paper. Next 4 termites were placed on the paper. The termites’ behavior was

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