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Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from John Adams Middle School 2004

John Adams Middle School
1525 31st Street, NW
Rochester, MN 55901

Year: 2004
Teacher(s): Cindy Boese

Colors of Light and the Monarch Butterfly

Janessa C

In this experiment we tried to find out if the color of light a monarch receives affects its’ growth?  We wrapped cellophane around the containers of the monarchs.  We included milkweed and a damp paper towel and measured the monarchs periodically throughout their lives.  We found that the color of light received by the monarch does affect the growth of the larvae, as well as the health.  The uncertainties that exist are, the larvae that died made a difference in the amount of larvae able to be tested and could have made a large change in the data collected.  We also think that the darker color of cellophane could have blocked out more light causing the amount of light as well as the color be changed.  After doing this experiment it is strongly believed that the color of light not only affects the growth of the monarchs, but also their health.  The deaths of the larvae occurred more in certain colors than others.  We are able to conclude that there are certain colors of light that are better than others.  However, after doing this experiment I have many other questions that are relevant to the experiment.  Why did the chrysalises surrounded in green light have weaker silk than the others?  Did their chrysalises that fell damage their wings, or was it the green cellophane?  Finally, we would conclude that putting monarchs under certain colors of light affects their growth


Light and Larvae Growth

Ashley L

In our experiment we tried to figure out if the amount of light would affect the larvae growth. We took 16 larvae and split them into three equal groups, which would make 4 larvae in each group. We took one group of larvae and had them stay in a dark environment. They would be staying there night and day. Then we took another group and put them in a medium light environment. They would also stay there day and night. Then we put the last group in a light environment. Every day we would take them out and measure the length of their bodies. Our results were that the light environment and the medium environment had the same average length. The dark environment had the smallest average length. Some uncertainties are that maybe all the light environment larvae were not getting the same amount of sunlight. Some things I learned were that the larvae in the medium and the light environments have the same average length. Also we think that the dark environment does not grow as fast because of the low light source they get.


Will Monarchs Break Their Diet?

Parth P, Jordan T

Our class experiment was how does the food offered affect what the larva eats?  We put one different type of food in the container with each larva (instead of milkweed) every other day and the days we didn’t use the different food we put in milkweed. The larvae ate cheese, broccoli, and poppyseed muffin, but we’re not really sure about blueberry. Some uncertainties are that we don’t know exactly how much the larvae ate or the exact amount we gave the larvae. New things that we learned are that sometimes the larvae’s frass changes color.  We think this may be from what they ate.  We also found out that the larvae will sometimes eat things besides milkweed.


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