Isopod Behavior Lab Report

Categories: Behavior

Background Information:

In our laboratory we were working with isopods, likewise known as pill bugs or rollie pollies. The isopods that we worked with were land isopods. They like to reside in damp places under untouched items such as boards, bricks, rotting logs and or rocks. Generally, they will live anywhere! If you are lucky enough, you can even discover them next to buildings where it is damp and if there is food. All living organisms like certain things and don’t like certain things, for instance; most animals will try to consume something sweet or sweet, like a piece of candy.

While the same animal my not wishing to eat something that is not sweet or sweet like peas.

Every organism acts various, especially when a stimulus is impacting them. While other times the organism can do something for no reason, well at least to our knowledge. Relationships also can be an aspect on how organisms act, probably being aggressive or submissive.

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For example, male crocodiles will fight each other for a mate; this is revealing their aggressive side. After one of the crocs has won the fight, the female croc will be submissive towards him to reveal dominance. This demonstrates how they can act due to the fact that of a relationship. Another example is people and the weather, which is a stimulus. People who like mild to hot temperatures will probably go outside to do things. While people who don’t like the cold temperature levels will do things inside, so they don’t go outside.

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This demonstrates how a stimulus can affect an organism’s habits and what they do.


For my hypothesis I wrote, “If the pill bugs are in the petri dish with the other chemicals then they will go to the filter paper where the sugar is more so then the other filter paper that has chemicals on it”. I choose this hypothesis for many reasons. First off, I know that most organisms, bugs, insects, etc… like sweet and sugary tasting things. I know this because I always see ants in my kitchen trying to get to the sugar rather then anything else. I know the pill bugs will not like the vinegar because most bugs will not go for vinegar. This goes the same with salt. I also thought about the water, this would be my second choice for my hypothesis. As I was writing my hypothesis, I also tried to tie it to me as well. I personally favor sugar over the others, next would be water, then salt, and last but not least vinegar. Using my personal taste, I was better able to make my decision on my hypothesis.


Procedure 1: 1 petri dish was placed on top of table. A dry piece of filter paper was centered into petri dish. Four pill bugs were placed into the petri dish; the petri dish was covered with an index card then a stack of post-it notes was placed on top of the index cards. The pill bug’s behavior was observed for 5 minutes, data was gathered and written on the paper. No human influence had any affect on the pill bugs behavior. Procedure 2: One piece of circular filter paper was taken and cut into 4 equal sections. The 4 sections of filter paper were then assigned and labeled with a letter from A – D. The chemicals were collected, which were water, salt solution, sugar solution and vinegar. Using a dropper, 5 – 10 drops of each solution were placed on a separate piece of filter paper. Then the filter paper with the solutions on it was placed in the petri dish, 4 pill bugs were then added into the petri dish. The pill bugs behavior was observed and recorded over the course of 5 minutes by recording how many pill bugs would go on each piece of filter paper in 30-second intervals. After that the pill bugs were returned to their home, the filter paper and the lab station were cleaned.

Over the course of our lab, our group collected lots of data from the pill bugs behavior. At the beginning of our lab we had placed the pill bugs in the petri dish with dry filter paper and we observed their behavior. The pill bugs were going around the inside rim of petri in circles following each other, almost as if it were a game of tag. The pill bugs never seemed to stop moving, flipping over and were constantly climbing. Some of the pill bugs even tried to escape from the petri dish, but our group was quick to make that didn’t happen. As our lab went on, we placed the 4 different pieces of filter paper with solutions on them and then added 4 pill bugs to it. We collected lots of information during this procedure.

This table represents how many pill bugs were on each slice of filter paper, that had a different solution on each of them, over 30 second intervals lasting 5 minutes. This is what were recorded our data on for this part of the lab.


The purpose of our experiment was to observe the behavior of the pill bugs. We were trying to find exactly whether the pill bugs would be attracted or repelled by the chemicals. The chemicals used were vinegar, water, salt solution and a sugar solution. By placing strips of filter paper with the solutions on it into a petri dish and then adding the pill bugs did attract and repel the pill bugs. This experiment would show whether the pill bugs would be attracted to one or some of the 4 chemicals in petri dish. This experiment was relevant to the topic because the pill bugs would show some kind of different behavior, which is what the topic was related to because the topic was that some animals behave in different ways, especially to a stimulus.

From the experiment I learned that the pill bugs behavior did change when the chemicals were added to the petri dish. From the data that we recorded in the chart it showed that the pill bugs like to go to the sugar solution the most. This does not surprise me because I thought the pill bugs would be most likely to go to the sugar solution. I thought this because most animals would chose something that is sugary and sweet, so I tied this into the experiment and this is also how I formed my hypothesis. Next came the water solution that the pill bugs liked. Then, came the salt solution. Then, came the in between filter. Finally, came the vinegar solution. This does not surprise me that the pill bugs like the vinegar solution because I know ants don’t like vinegar, so I thought the pill bugs would be the same. These results fully support my hypothesis about the experiment.

Through this experiment my hypothesis was proven correct. My original hypothesis was, “If the pill bugs are introduced to the chemicals, then the pill bugs will most likely go to the sugar solution rather then go to the others”. I then looked at the results of my experiment and it showed that the pill bugs liked the sugar solution the most. This alone proves that my hypothesis is correct. I believe the accuracy and precision in my results is 100% correct. I believe this to be valid because I ensured there were no errors made during the experiment.

Even though there was a lot of room for error I made sure that it didn’t happen. This experiment could have been revised, as there should have been a bigger petri dish or something larger to hold the pill bugs in. This way more solutions could have been used like the same 4 chemicals just more slides of them. This would show more accurately that they really did like the sugar; this would eliminate any one saying that it was a fluke, that the pill bugs liked the sugar. I also think more pill bugs should have been added. I think that this would allow for more room for accuracy and precision in the experiment.

From the experiment I learned that pill bugs are very interesting organisms. I had a lot of fun doing the experiment. I learned that out of a sugar solution, a salt solution, vinegar and water, that the pill bugs will choose the sugar solution the most. I also learned from this experiment that an experiment can always be redone and that it will show more accurate results. Before this experiment I always thought that one experiment could be good enough for 100% accuracy. Then, I thought about this experiment and I realized that this experiment could be better done. I also learned that pill bugs also like to climb on top of each other. This was interesting to me because I never thought they would do that because, you don’t see people or elephants climbing top of each other. These are some facts that I learned from the lab.

In conclusion, the experiment showed the behavior of the pill bugs when chemicals were introduced. When the sugar solution, salt solution, vinegar and water were added and the pill bugs behavior was changed by whether they were attracted to it or not. Through my results from the experiment the pill bugs liked the sugar solution the most and that supported my hypothesis. The experiment had no errors, but could have been done better. Finally, through the experiment I learned many new things, I had a lot of fun and I realized that not every experiment is not always the best one done. I also learned that an organism’s behavior could be affected by a stimulus even though we may not see it.

Cite this page

Isopod Behavior Lab Report. (2016, Jul 19). Retrieved from

Isopod Behavior Lab Report

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