This activity was in the 2001 Particles and Prairies Sampler. See the 2006 Sampler
Baked Potato Invertebrate Trap
Invertebrates - Fermilab Quadrat Study - Prairie - School Quardat Study - Baked Potato
PURPOSE: The purpose of this activity/lab is to capture and examine invertebrates in the soil.
OBJECTIVE: Students will identify organisms found in the soil
- Baked Potatoes - halved - three halves per group
- Small plastic "baggies"
- Dissection probes, toothpicks or shish-kabob skewers
- Hand lenses or dissection microscopes
- Prepare baked potatoes and place cut side down on a section of moist soil.
- Repeat in well-drained and dry soil.
- Allow to remain in place 24-48 hours undisturbed.
- Remove potato carefully from soil and examine. (invertebrates may have penetrated interior of potato - use probe to examine.
- Use hand lenses to observe. Classify according to type. (Insect, worm, snail, etc.
- Collect group data and build conclusion based on all soil types.
Use student data sheet.
- Does there appear to be a difference in the type of organisms at each site? Explain.
- Why might such differences occur?
- Compare these organisms to those discovered with the Berlese Funnel. Are there any differences? Why or why not?
- Can you think of any other "bait" for invertebrates? Name at least three. What might you find?
- Why are these organisms in the soil?
- Are soil invertebrates considered good or bad? Explain.
- Did the type of soil make a difference in the number or type of organisms?