University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from Plymouth Middle School 1997

Plymouth Middle School
10011 36th Ave N
Plymouth, MN 55448

Year: 1997
Teacher(s): Sandi Anderson

Do Monarch Butterflies Like to Eat Fruit?

Brigette P

I gave monarch butterflies fruits to eat.  I wanted to find out which ones they preferred to eat. I wanted to see if they ate fruit from gardens when a monarch is in the wild. I found out which fruits they seemed to prefer.  I found out that their favorite fruit was a banana.  They seemed to prefer the honey water mixture to the fruits. I didn't know if the butterfly was hungry or not when I fed them.  That might have had an influence on which they chose.  I learned that butterflies I had really didn't seem to choose the fruit.  I learned that butterflies eat during the day.

How long does it take a monarch caterpillar to return to eating after it was disturbed?

Nikki U

I did an experiment to find out how long it takes caterpillars to go back to eating after they were disturbed.  I disturbed them and then measured the length of time it took them to go back to eating.  I wanted to find out if anything disturbs the caterpillar while it is eating. I found out that there was a difference in the length of time it took each one to go back to eating.  I repeated the test four times and each time it took a different length of time for it to go back to eating.  I tested a small caterpillar and a large caterpillar.  They both had different reactions.  I also looked at data from another experiment and found the results to be similar. I tried to do my tests when the caterpillar was eating.  The results are very different and so it is hard to be sure.  I used two caterpillars and the data I used was for two caterpillars.  It would be good to test more caterpillars and see if a pattern developed. I found out that the monarch caterpillar did not really seem to like the frozen milkweed as much as the fresh.  One of my caterpillars shot out some green stuff.  I am not sure if he was mad or why he did that.

How long to caterpillars stay in the chrysalis? Do males stay in longer than females?

Alexandra N

I found out how long each butterfly spent in the chrysalis.  I put them into two groups by male and female.  I calculated the average number of days each sex spent in the chrysalis.  I wanted to see which sex stayed in the chrysalis the longest. I found out males and females both stayed in the chrysalis about 12 days.  I know that some days were warmer than others and that may have had an influence on how quickly they emerged.  I then calculated the average high temperature during the days they were in the chrysalis and compared that by sex.  It would have been better to keep all of the chrysalises at the same temperature. I learned that they stayed approximately the same time in the chrysalis.  I found that some females emerged in the shortest time and that some females spent the longest time in the chrysalis.

Which will caterpillars eat more of -plain milkweed leaves or sugar-covered milkweed leaves?

Meghan C

I did an experiment to see what a caterpillar will eat.  I did this experiment to see if the caterpillar liked the regular milkweed more than something very similar.  I wanted to know if it would eat anything other than milkweed. The results were that the  caterpillars ate the sugar leaves 30 per cent of the time and the regular leaves 70 per cent of the time.  I also found out that they did not eat the sugar leaves when they were wet, but ate only when they were dry. If I could do this experiment over I would make sure all the leaves were wet or all were dry.  I would also do the experiment longer than three days.  I learned from my experiment that the caterpillars really do not like eating anything besides plain milkweed.  I found out they eat more as they get larger.  They ate a lot before they went into the chrysalis.

  • © 2015 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy