Pill Bug Lab Report

Essay by GreygardensHigh School, 10th grade January 2006

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Food Preferences in the Sow Bug (Porcellio Laevis)


The purpose of this experiment is to determine what kind of food the sow bug prefers; decaying leaves, potatoes, grapes, or sow bug food.


If a sow bug is placed in a choice tray, and has access to decaying leaves, potatoes, grapes, and sow bug food, the sow bug will choose the decaying leaves over its other options. This hypothesis was based on research stating that a sow bug's main food source is decaying vegetation. This is the food they are accustomed to and therefore will select over the other three options which they rarely if ever would have access to.


-Twelve sow bugs

-Bisected grapes

-Chunks of potato

-Decaying leaves

-Pinch of sow bug food

-Choice tray (with cover)

-Five pieces of moist filter paper

-Four small rocks


1. Place moist filter paper in choice tray (one in each section

2. Place each of the experimental food sources in the outer four sections of the choice tray

3. Position one rock at each of the entrances to the outer sections of the choice tray

4. Place twelve sow bugs in the center section of the choice tray

5. Wait ten seconds

6. Simultaneously remove all four rocks

7. Place cover on choice tray

8. Wait five minutes

9. Uncover choice tray and place rocks at the entrances of the outer sections

10. Count the number of sow bugs in each section

11. Remove rocks and place cover on choice tray

12. Repeat steps 9 through 11 every five minutes


Sow Bug Apparent Eating Preferences

Data Table

Time Leaves Grapes Sow Bug Food Potato Control Total

0 Minutes 0 0 0 0 12 12

5 Minutes 3 1 0 1 7 12

10 Minutes 6 0 0 1 5 12

15 Minutes...