Self-designed Mealworm Investigation

Date of experiment: 19/7/12


To find out whether mealworms prefer food with more water content



Mealworms prefer food with more water content.


Independent Variable: Type of food

Dependent Variable: Number of mealworms around each type of food after 5 minutes

Controlled variables: Temperature, amount of time taken, number of mealworms, mealworms’ distance from each type of food, amount of each type of food



The mealworms can sense the water content in food.

The mealworms are acting according to their natural behaviour.

The apple has the highest water content, followed by the carrot and the oats.



– 1 apple

– 3 tablespoons of oats

– 1 carrot

– 5 mealworms

– stopwatch

– ruler

– flat opaque tabletop

– weighing scale



  1. mark a spot on the tabletop and place a slice of apple, a slice of carrot and a tablespoon of oats 10cm away from the spot and 10cm away from each other. Ensure they have the same mass.
  2. Place 5 mealworms on the spot, orientated facing the apple slice and observe for 5 minutes.
  3. Repeat the experiment twice with the same mealworms.
  4. Record your observations.



Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Average
No. of mealworms around the apple slice 3 2 3 8
No. of mealworms around the carrot slice 1 0 2 3
No. of mealworms around the oats 1 3 0 4


Data Analysis:

  • On average, the greatest number of mealworms were found near the apple slice
  • The mealworms could have been attracted to it due to its high water content
  • However, the oats ranked second in terms of the number of mealworms around it even though it has the lowest water content
  • This could be because mealworms’ main diet consists of oats and eating them is instinctive.



The data supports my hypothesis that mealworms prefer food with higher water content.



Use a different set of mealworms for each trial

The mealworms’ behaviour for the second and third trials may have been affected by the amount of food they ate in the first trial. To ensure a fair and accurate experiment, a different set of mealworms should have been used.


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